Dec 08, 2015

EUMETSAT and CNES sign agreement for IASI-NG instruments

(Tuesday, 08 December 2015) EUMETSAT’s Director-General, Alain Ratier, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, signed a cooperation agreement for the development of a new generation of Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometers (IASI-NG) to be flown on three successive Metop-SG A satellites of the EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation (EPS-SG) in the 2021-2040 timeframe.

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The agreement continues the successful cooperation established for the development of the first generation of IASI instruments flown on the current Metop satellites. The ingestion of vertical profiles of temperature and moisture extracted from IASI data by advanced numerical weather prediction (NWP) models has been one key factor for the significant improvement of weather forecasts up to 10 days over the last decade.

Under the new agreement, CNES will develop the full IASI-NG system composed of the instrument and the data processing chain, procure recurrent instruments on behalf of EUMETSAT and provide support to operations.

EUMETSAT will fund 30% of the development costs for the first instrument and the recurrent instruments in full, integrate the IASI-NG data processing chain in its operational ground systems and exploit the IASI-NG instrument chain throughout the lifetime of the EPS-SG system.

IASI-NG will measure infrared spectra with twice the spectral resolution and twice the radiometric accuracy of IASI. This will allow the extraction of more accurate vertical profiles (soundings) of temperature and moisture with higher vertical resolution close to the surface, which is one key requirement for further improving numerical weather forecasts at global and regional scales, from 12 hours to more than 10 days ahead.

These improvements will also allow the retrieval of more quantitative information on trace and greenhouse gases (e.g. ozone, methane and carbon monoxide) compared to IASI, including vertical profiles where currently only total columns are measured. This will be essential for air quality forecasting and climate monitoring, in combination with other instruments, including the Copernicus Sentinel-5 instrument also flown aboard the Metop SG-A satellites and the Merlin methane profiling mission developed by CNES and DLR.

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and climate change.

From 2016 onwards, EUMETSAT will exploit the Copernicus Sentinel-3 marine mission in cooperation with ESA and on behalf of the EU, and deliver data services to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.
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