J1.3 Assessing the Socio-economic Benefits of Meteorological Polar Orbiting Satellites

Monday, 7 January 2013: 2:15 PM
Ballroom G (Austin Convention Center)
Alain Ratier, EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany

The socio economic benefits of European polar orbiting satellites in the European Union have recently been estimated in the context of the approval process for the EPS/Metop Second Generation programme, as a result of studies involving economists and experts of numerical weather prediction. The studies conclude that at least 8% of the estimated socio-economic benefits of forecast information in three key areas (protection of property and infrastructure, added value to European economy and private use by European citizens) can reasonably be attributed to observations from the Metop-A satellite, representing 4.9 B€ per annum. The return on investment into a new generation of more capable satellites and the amplification of benefits through the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) cooperation with NOAA are also discussed. It is concluded that the reduction of forecast errors due to the full IJPS is higher than the sum of the respective contributions of NOAA and EUMETSAT, and that the benefit to cost ratio of the EPS/Metop Second Generation programme proposed by ESA and EUMETSAT is expected to exceed 20. This confirms the critical needs for continuing and enhancing observations from meteorological polar orbiting satellites through ambitious satellite development programmes and international cooperation.
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