89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 10:45 AM
EUMETSAT's Contributions to a Meteorological and Environmental System of Systems
Room 224AB (Phoenix Convention Center)
Johannes Schmetz, EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany; and R. Stuhlmann, L. Sarlo, P. Counet, and E. Koenemann
EUMETSAT operates on behalf of its European member states two different satellite systems, i) the Meteosat series in a geostationary orbit and ii) Metop in a polar orbit. Both satellite systems are a key part of the current space-based meteorological observing system coordinated by WMO and CGMS (Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites). The presentation will address how the user needs are being fulfilled and also show how the importance of satellite data on weather forecasting steadily increased over recent years. Notably a new instrument like IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) has a significant impact on improved forecasting. With regard to the future the presentation will discuss the ‘EUMETSAT user consultation process'. The user consultation forms the basis for the definition of future EUMETSAT satellite systems; as it takes the need for continuity of services as major constraint it naturally provides a smooth evolution toward an improved operational satellite observing system. International partnership (e.g. the Joint Polar System with NOAA) is a key part which ensures that the EUMETSAT contributions to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) are complementary and mutually consistent. The talk will also address the need to foster the transition from research to operations; here the established Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs) within EUMETSAT member states play a key role. Finally the presentation will address the increasing importance of climate observations from space; while there is broad consensus on the need for continuous climate monitoring, which could be well served by operational satellites, it is argued that specialised research missions are essential for a better understanding of atmospheric processes. The latter implies that the future GEOSS would consist of an operational element and an innovative element addressing key science questions which in turn pave the way to further improvements of the use of the operational Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

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