The Evolution of the European Operational Meteorological Satellite Programmes and the Advancement of Applications

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 4:45 PM
B313 (GWCC)
Johannes Schmetz, EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany

The European contribution to operational meteorological satellite observations commenced with the launch of Meteosat-1 into a geostationary orbit in 1977. The first series of Meteosat satellites was developed and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). As the meteorological space-based observations and the related applications matured the responsibility was handed over ) in 1995 to the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Since then the European contribution to the space-based global observing system has grown: The second generation of Meteosat satellites started with the launch of Meteosat-8 in 2002. This satellite series has improved observation capabilities with an unprecedented imaging repeat cycle of 15 minutes for the full earth disk and 12 spectral channels. The year 2006 saw the advent of the first European polar meteorological satellite Metop-A in a mid-morning orbit and complementing the US NOAA satellite observations. Metop carries a suite of instruments some of which have been provided by the US partner organization NOAA. Metop also has instruments with a heritage from ESA research satellites and carries the first operational hyperspectral sounder (IASI) developed by the French space agency CNES. Currently preparations are ongoing for Meteosat Third Generation and the Metop follow-on series. Both future satellite programmes draw on an active involvement of the user community in the definition of requirements. The presentation will provide examples for the evolution of applications for Numerical Weather Prediction, Nowcasting and Climate Monitoring.