7 April 2008. EUMETSAT has become a new institutional member of ESPI. It will provide ESPI with the background of the prime European institution for monitoring weather, climate and the environment.
EUMETSAT's institutional membership in ESPI was initiated by ESPI's former Secretary General, Serge Plattard and has now entered into force. EUMETSAT will be represented in ESPI's General Assembly by Lars Prahm, its Director-General. EUMETSAT's interest in ESPI is particularly strong in the organisation's competences in the fields of institutional questions and the policy area of sustainability.
The main purpose of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is to deliver weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This information is supplied to the National Meteorological Services of the organisation's 21 Member and 9 Cooperating States in Europe, as well as other users world-wide. EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation and was founded in 1986. EUMETSAT currently operates a fleet consisting of four geostationary satellites and one polar-orbiting satellite, called "Meteosat" and "MetOp" respectively. Meteosat-9 and its backup, Meteosat-8, together with MetOp-A ensure the continuous, uninterrupted delivery of operational data. EUMETSAT will also contribute with the processing and distributing of the data and products from Jason-2, an ocean surface topography mission. It is a 4-partite undertaking between CNES, EUMETSAT, NASA and NOAA and the launch is foreseen for mid 2008.
To secure the vital services for the future, EUMETSAT, in collaboration with ESA and other partners, has already started planning of the next generation of geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites.
Eumetsat-Headquarters EUMETSAT image, 4 April 2008