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EUMETSAT and the dust cover of the first history eChapter selector GavaghanCommunications

Meteorology, Meteorological, History

An IGO
monit-
oring
weather and
climate
change

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p20.

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p18.


p19.

CHAPTER ONE.
BEFORE EUMETSAT,
THE FOUNDING OF EUMETSAT
AND THE FIRST COUNCIL MEETINGS.


Twenty years before EUMETSAT was formed, imagery from US meteorological satellites captivated a small band of European meteorologists who saw promise in satellite imagery long before the science justified their optimism, and before there was widespread understanding of how to extract information about the atmosphere from satellites data.

"It was March 1966 when we first saw the exciting potential of these images2," says Tillman Mohr, EUMETSAT's current Director General. Clearly, the memory is still vivid. It was not for more than a decade, however, that satellite observations began to prove their worth in weather forecasting, the branch of meteorology most familiar to the lay person and the primary beneficiary of EUMETSAT data.

EUMETSAT was formed to manage an operational series of meteorological satellites that were originally developed with funding from eight Member States of the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) - a forerunner of the European Space Agency, ESA). These countries were Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

On 23 November 1977 Meteosat-F1 was launched. It was the first of three satellites in what became known as the Meteosat pre-operational programme. The first two were purpose built flight models. The third was a refurbished engineering model. Six years later, ESA established the Meteosat Operational Programme (MOP) to be run by EUMETSAT. The Organisation's founding Convention was opened for signature on 24 May 1983 and it entered into force in June 1986. On 1 January 1987, EUMETSAT formally took over ownership of the operational Meteosat series. The operational programme comprised a series of three satellites, and MOP-1 was launched in March 19893.


2 - The images were from the first operational Environmental Survey satellite launched 3 February 1966.

3 - The European Space Agency's three pre-operational satellites were known contemporaneously as F1, F2, and P2, the three operational satellites as MOP-1, 2 and 3. They are now known as Meteosat-1 to 6. A seventh satellite of the same basic design was launched in 1997, as part of the Meteosat Transition Programme.


SEE ALSO| |

1. Meteorologists shed political shackles, a review of Declan Murphy's history of the first 25 years of EUMETSAT (2011), by Helen Gavaghan.


2. An interview in 2010 with Dr Tillman Mohr, a special advisor to the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organisation, in Science, People & Politics.

eChapter| |TOP

Contents

Preface

Foreword

Introduction

Ch.1

Ch.2

Ch.3

Ch.4

Ch.5

Ch.6

Ch.7

Ch.8

The History of EUMETSAT is available in English and French from EUMETSAT©.
First printed 2001. ISBN 92-9110-040-4

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Eumetsat meteorology meteorological artificial satellites
European Space Agency weather climate policy politics history

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