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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, p48.

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p46.


p47

CHAPTER 4

THE METEOSAT TRANSITION PROGRAMME AND DEVELOPMENT OF LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT POLICY


By forming EUMETSAT, European governments together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the meteorological community dug out the foundations for satellite meteorology in Europe. The Organisation then created a blueprint for European satellite meteorology by developing the Long-Term Plan. Then, during the process of discussing how to implement the plan, EUMETSAT's delegates agreed a review of their Convention was needed. These events brought the Organisation to the end of the 1980s.

What the Organisation did not do in its first few years was decide where responsibility lay for specifying, developing, building, financing and operating new satellite systems and their ground segments.

The context within which EUMETSAT confronted many of these issues was the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP), the Organisation's first new space project. Specifically, the MTP forced the pace of decision-making about EUMETSAT's role in the ground segment and its approach to funding for major programmes (see table 2, page 49). Equally important, the need for new staff to implement the MTP was one of the main reasons why EUMETSAT decided to review its Long-Term Management Policy and thus clarify the Organisation's strategic role in operational meteorology in Europe.

The MTP was established because EUMETSAT realised that the second generation of Meteosat satellites would not be developed in time to take over from the first series. The resulting gap in meteorological observations above Europe and Africa would have been a severe blow to operational meteorology. Hence the transition programme, which comprised: a ground segment; funding for the launch of the additional Meteosat; plus the cost of ongoing operations from 1995 to 2000 (including operation of any of the first operational series which might be in orbit at that time).

The need for MTP did not emerge until a few years after EUMETSAT took possession of the first operational series on 1 January 1987. The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites were by then in the early stages of development.


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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