EUMETSAT’s Director-General, Alain Ratier, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, have signed a cooperation agreement on the ARGOS Data Collection System, which is to be included in the payload of the Metop-SG satellites of the EUMETSAT Polar System of Second Generation (EPS-SG).
The agreement was signed in the presence of Christophe Vassal, chairman of the Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) Board, the operator of ARGOS and a subsidiary formed by CNES and the French Ifremer institute in 1986, which—like EUMETSAT—is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. ARGOS receivers provided by CNES are already flying on board the current generation of EUMETSAT’s Metop satellites where they collect in situ observations of the three-dimensional ocean, acquired by buoys, profiling floats and other automated devices. The new agreement will ensure the continuation of these vital data into the 2022-2040 timeframe.
Under the new agreement, EUMETSAT will host the ARGOS DCS instrument developed by CNES on its Metop Second Generation satellites. EUMETSAT, via its EPS-SG ground segment, will also ensure that all information gathered from the Data Collection Platforms is transmitted to the Argos Data Processing and Distribution Centre for dissemination to the user community.
According to EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier, the ARGOS system ensures the collection of most ocean observations gathered by buoys or drifters and, therefore, contributes to the forecasts of the ocean-atmosphere coupled system together with the observations provided by EUMETSAT’s satellites and the Jason altimetry missions, which is also shared with CNES. This synergy makes EUMETSAT cooperation with CNES all the more valuable. CNES president, Jean-Yves Le Gall, added that the Argos system and its user community are in the best shape ever, and the number of applications is growing all the time—through the systems' support of oceanography and wildlife tracking applications, Argos is proving a key tool in predicting climate change and gauging its effects.