(Wednesday, 18 September 2013) The European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) has released a study demonstrating clear and measurable benefits resulting from the long-standing partnership between EUMETSAT and the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – for both organisations, their user communities and the stakeholders that provide the funding.
Analysing the development of the EUMETSAT – NOAA cooperation and the supporting policy framework, the independent study reveals that EUMETSAT and NOAA have been able to get a double win out of their partnership as they could establish state-of-the-art observing systems at a lower cost. This in turn has enabled the respective user communities to benefit from more data, increased accuracy and a better timeliness and robustness of the observing systems. At the same time, the economic benefits derived from meteorological data in comparison to the investment costs required to establish operational polar orbiting and ocean altimetry programmes have more than doubled compared to a scenario where the partners would have established full systems by themselves.
The key drivers for the benefits are rooted in existing experience and fields of expertise on both sides of the Atlantic: Having exchanged data from their respective geostationary spacecraft for decades and established back-up arrangements, EUMETSAT and NOAA now operate an Initial Joint Polar System consisting of the European Metop-A and Metop-B satellites and the US NOAA-19, -18 and Suomi NPP satellites with divided orbital responsibilities and shared use of ground stations. In the ocean surface topography mission implemented by the Jason series, the US-Europe partnership provided complementary technologies which proved critical for mission success. In addition, both organisations have closely worked together to optimise the use of data through scientific cooperation projects and coordinated support to user communities including training.
Ultimately, these benefits have translated into an increased ability to protect human life, property and infrastructure and to deliver added value to the American and European economies.
EUMETSAT and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently signed a high-level cooperation agreement, ensuring the long-term continuation and growth of their successful partnership in space-based operational monitoring of weather, ocean and climate.
The ESPI study can be found here