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

Meteorology, Meteorological, History

An IGO
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weather and
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HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p57.

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p55.




p56.

CHAPTER 5

SATELLITE APPLICATION FACILITIES AND EUMETSAT GROUND SEGMENT

The concept of Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs) first emerged at the end of 1992. Though the idea originated in the context of the Meteosat Transition Programme (MTP), the concept was to be fully developed within the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) and EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) programmes. SAFs were a novel and unexpected solution to what had seemed at times during the previous two years to be an insoluble disagreement among EUMETSAT's Member States about the location and function of different elements of the ground segment.

The solution emerged just in time to enable EUMETSAT to place contracts for the different elements of the ground segment and to build its headquarters to house new staff and operational facilities to take over operations of its satellites from 1 December 1995.

It was a nail-biting finish, with computer engineers dodging scaffolding and construction workers as they raced to install equipment in time for the European Space Agency (ESA) to hand over satellite and ground segment control to EUMETSAT. Somehow, and to the surprise of many, the task was completed successfully.

EUMETSAT's internal debate about the ground segment began in earnest at the beginning of 1991. It occurred in parallel with the policy debate about EUMETSAT's role in future ground and space segments, which led to the Resolution on Long-Term Management Policy (see previous chapter) in March 1992. During most of the policy debate there was very little disagreement about the principle that EUMETSAT should play a large part in the definition, development, procurement and operation of the ground segment. Rather, delegates wrangled about how best to implement a ground segment.

Before exploring the political and technical factors that influenced the debate, it helps to have some understanding of the ground segment control and infrastructure as it was in 1991. ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt controlled the Meteosat operational series on EUMETSAT's behalf. The Agency owned the ground segment infrastructure, and EUMETSAT paid ESA for its services. The


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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