Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 10:30 AM
From Research and Development to Operations and Applications
Room 343/344 (New Orleans Convention Center )
The development and evolution of products and services derived from the observation of operational meteorological satellites is a key objective and a continuous challenge during the lifecycle of a satellite programme. For new space observations there is a need to develop the science and the utilisation of observations and products to operational applications. For EUMETSAT this challenge is currently manifested by the approved next generation of geostationary satellites MTG (Meteosat Third Generation) for which three out of four instruments are to be flown for the first time in a geostationary orbit. Here the challenge is to develop the new science into retrieval techniques for new products including their operational applications. In regards to the evolution of existing operational products and applications there is a continuous challenge to develop this incrementally further, which is done at EUMETSAT under the label of ‘Day-2 development'. Ideally such incremental development does also provide a seamless transition from one generation of instrument applications to the next generation of similar instruments. An example will be the transition from the current imaging instrument (SEVIRI) on Meteosat Second Generation satellites to the future 16-channel imager on Meteosat Third Generation.
The presentation describes processes at EUMETSAT which have been established to meet user expectations. The salient point is that steps are taken in close cooperation with the users and are always guided by independent experts on instruments and science. For new programmes it starts with a broad user consultation process and regular working meetings with experts which leads to the formulation of end user requirements. The paper gives examples highlighting the challenges ahead which include the greatly increased data volume but also opportunities for improved services. An asset for EUMETSAT is the existing network of Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs) where leading experts in its Member and Cooperating States work continuously toward the evolution of products and services from satellite observations. This is also seen as a good framework to prepare future users in time for the utilization of new observations and products.