At a meeting in Oslo, Norway, this week, the EUMETSAT Council approved funding for industrial activities required by EUMETSAT for the long term storage of the four Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) recurrent satellites after their acceptance at the Pre-Storage Reviews, their de-storage, the preparation and execution of their launch campaigns and support to in orbit commissioning.
The EUMETSAT-funded activities will be contracted through ESA, as additional tasks to the contract already covering the development of the two prototype satellites (MTG-I1 and MTG-S1) and the procurement of the four recurrent units on behalf of EUMETSAT.
Preparing for the role of EUMETSAT in the next phase of the EU Copernicus Program, the Council approved an arrangement for continued cooperation with the European Space Agency for the deployment of the Sentinel-3C and -3D satellites, expected to replace Sentinel-3A and -3B in the period 2023 to 2027.
A new five-year agreement with the China Meteorological Administration was also approved to enable the continuation of cooperation on exchange and redistribution of satellite data, scientific developments and coordinated planning of the deployment of next generation satellite systems, in the framework of the World Meteorological Organisation.
The Council elected Professor Gerard van der Steenhoven, the Director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, as its Chairman and Eoin Moran, the Director of Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological service, as its Vice-Chairman.
Prof. van der Steenhoven will become the Council Chairman on September 1, 2018, for a first two-year term, taking over from Professor Anton Eliassen, of Norway, who has chaired the Council since July 2014, a period during which the Council approved the EPS-SG Program, EUMETSAT’s contribution to the Copernicus program and the Jason-CS program.