[SatNews] The 83rd meeting of the EUMETSAT Council took place in Darmstadt, Germany, on 23 and 24 June.
The Council successfully concluded the approval process for the EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG) program with all 30 Member States having now firmly committed themselves. Based on this decision, the EUMETSAT Council authorized the Director-General to prepare and sign program-related agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency CNES, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
EPS-SG is the mandatory program required to deliver observations from polar orbit in the 2021-2042 timeframe. It will improve and expand the observation capabilities of the first generation EPS, required to further improve operational weather forecasting up to 10 days ahead.
The meeting achieved progress in the approval process for the optional Jason-CS program: 77.83 percent of the financial envelope of the program is now covered by Participating States and further progress is expected during the summer.
The EUMETSAT optional Jason-CS program is the proposed EUMETSAT contribution to the development and implementation of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission, in partnership with ESA, the European Union and the United States (NASA). The mission will extend until 2030 the climate record of sea level measurements accumulated since 1992 by the Topex-Poseidon, Jason, Jason-2 and Jason-3 missions. It will also support the development of operational oceanography and seasonal forecasts in Europe.
Regarding Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), the Council approved the contract with Arianespace for the first three launch services (MTG-I1, MTG-S1 and MTG–I2).
MTG will continue and enhance the services currently delivered by the Meteosat Second Generation series in support of nowcasting and very short-range forecasting of high impact weather in the 2020-2040 timeframe.
The Council also confirmed Alain Ratier as the Director-General of EUMETSAT for a further period of four years, until July 31, 2020. Ratier has served the organization since 2011.