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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, p75.

HISTORY OF EUMETSAT, p73.


p74.

CHAPTER 7

The EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS)


When the first Metop satellite is launched, EUMETSAT will be over 18 years old and will have come of age in more ways than one. The Organisation will then be controlling satellites in both geostationary and polar orbit.

The story of the Organisation's involvement with the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) starts with the first mention of meteorological observation from polar orbit made in its LongTerm Plan presented to the Council in the Spring of 1987. The tale unfolds in parallel with EUMETSAT's own growth as an organisation.

Even though the science and technology are impressive, an equally telling aspect of the story is the formidable degree of collaboration, compromise and sheer hard slog in the face of repeated frustration that policy makers from participating organisations had to contend with to make the EPS an innovative yet credible operational venture. One of the triumphs of the programme, therefore, is eventual successful development amid a bewildering web of interconnected relationships among organisations with different remits.

What, then, is the EPS? It comprises a meteorological package of instruments supplied jointly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the USA, and the French Space Agency, for flight on the so-called "morning" and "afternoon" satellites, as well as an associated European ground segment developed and operated by EUMETSAT. The European Space Agency (ESA) is providing experimental instruments. All the instruments will fly on a series of three Metop satellites developed jointly by ESA and EUMETSAT. The programme is scheduled to last 14 years and will cost EUMETSAT 1569 Million European Currency Units (MECU) at 1996 economic conditions.

The Metop satellites are components of a joint venture, known as the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), with NOAA. The Cooperation Agreement on IJPS was signed with the USA on 19 November 1998. This Agreement fulfils an aspiration that the international meteorological community has been working towards since 1984. NOAA is providing most of the basic


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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