This follows the approval by the EUMETSAT Council of the Third Party Programme on EUMETSAT’s Copernicus activities on 15 October.
The agreement marks a key milestone for the Copernicus programme which entrusts EUMETSAT with important operational tasks and a related budget of 229 million Euro to support the implementation of the programme.
While the European Commission has overall responsibility for the Copernicus programme, defining priority areas of action, objective and strategies, EUMETSAT will provide key support for the implementation of the Copernicus space component and the Copernicus services.
Under the agreement, EUMETSAT will exploit the Jason-3 and Sentinel-3 oceanographic missions on behalf of the European Union, starting in 2015, in support of the Copernicus marine service. It will also prepare the Jason-3 follow-up mission and the Sentinel-6 high precision ocean altimetry mission.
As of 2020, EUMETSAT will fly the Copernicus Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5 instruments on its Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and Metop-Second Generation (Metop-SG) satellites. Based on the unique synergy between these Copernicus and the EUMETSAT instruments flown on both families of spacecraft, EUMETSAT will deliver integrated data services for the monitoring of atmospheric composition and forecasting of air quality.
The Copernicus programme will provide European decision makers, business and citizens with reliable, accurate and timely environmental information services in support of decision making needed to ensure the well-being and civil security of current and future generations of Europeans.
The EUMETSAT Director-General said: ”With this agreement we will capitalise on the synergy between EUMETSAT and Copernicus assets to deliver new integrated data services for the monitoring of ocean and atmospheric composition and create unique opportunities for users in the EU and EUMETSAT Member States.”
Director Brunet remarked: “We are glad to be able to conclude this landmark agreement with EUMETSAT. We really value the technical competence and experience of EUMETSAT’s staff to make Europe’s flagship space programme on Earth observation a success story which will serve society in many ways including by timely environmental monitoring as well as creating a thriving downstream sector.”
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 also exploits the Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite in cooperation with NOAA, NASA and CNES, to monitor sea state, ocean currents and sea level change from space.
EUMETSAT is developing new satellite systems in cooperation with ESA and other partners to expand its portfolio of observations of the atmosphere, ocean and land surfaces in the 2020-2040 timeframe.
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the climate.
With almost 40 years of data, EUMETSAT’s data archives and services form an invaluable asset for climate monitoring and the understanding of climate change.
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