China, France and EUMETSAT are working together to make satellite observations of the ocean operationally available for weather forecasting and climate monitoring in Europe
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
The Chinese-French Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT) was launched on 29 October last year, for the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (the French Space Agency, CNES).
Under an agreement signed today, EUMETSAT will distribute data from the satellite’s payload to its 30 Member States and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in near-real time and perform additional processing of the data.
“This trilateral cooperation agreement shows how nations and agencies working together can bring benefits for the citizens of Europe in the areas of weather forecasting and climate monitoring,” EUMETSAT Head of Strategy, Communication and International Relations Paul Counet said.
“The national meteorological and hydrological services in EUMETSAT’s 30 Member States expressed an interest in receiving the data from CFOSAT’s payload, which will help improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and aid understanding of climate change.
“The CFOSAT mission data, which is expected to be operationally available in autumn, will allow more accurate forecasting and earlier warnings of severe weather events like storms and cyclones. CFOSAT will also help climatologists learn more about the interactions between air and sea, which are key to understanding the climate.”
CFOSAT carries two radar instruments: SWIM, supplied by CNES, to measure wave properties such as direction, wavelength, etc; and SCAT, an instrument supplied by CNSA to measure ocean-surface wind vectors.
The cooperation agreement was signed by CNSA Vice Administrator Wu Yanhua, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget today.