EUMETSAT, DLR become co-chairs of International Disasters Charter

EUMETSAT and the German Aerospace Centre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), have this week taken on the role of co-chairs of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

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About 70 members of the International Charter are meeting at EUMETSAT’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany on 16-20 April, for the organisation’s half-yearly meeting.

The International Charter promotes cooperation between space agencies and space system operators to contribute to the management of natural and man-made disasters throughout the world.

EUMETSAT User Relations Manager Sally Wannop said each member of the International Charter performs different roles to support the organisation and running of the Charter activities. Taking on the role as Charter lead agency, or chair, is one of these roles.

“Members who join the Charter commit to offering data for the purposes of disaster management,” Wannop said.

“Today, we are welcoming the United Arab Emirates Space Agency as a new member of the Charter.

“Members provide data on a universal access basis, which means that a disaster management organisation in any country, not just those with agencies that are members of the Charter, can activate the Charter and benefit from the data provided free of charge.”

The most recent activation of the Charter was to respond to flooding in the Volgogradskaya Oblast Region of Russia following vast amounts of snow melting.

EUMETSAT’s main role is to give access to satellite imagery of cyclones and to redistribute products from other Charter members, in particular post-disaster maps, via the GEONETCast data dissemination system.

EUMETSAT and DLR will hold the co-chair roles for six months before the French Space Agency CNES takes over in October.

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