[SatNews] U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) has entered into a new Space Situational Awareness (SSA) data-sharing agreement with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
The agreement, which was signed August 9th, provides EUMETSAT with higher quality and more timely space information tailored for its organization’s specific purposes in exchange for satellite-positional and radio-frequency information. Since 1998, NOAA and EUMETSAT have cooperated to establish the Initial Joint Polar System, and both agencies now share the operational responsibilities for two polar-orbiting satellites and their respective ground segments. This strategic operational cooperation generates substantial benefits for Europe, the USA and the worldwide user communities.
“Space is vital to national security and economic growth, but it is increasingly congested, contested and competitive,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. “As more countries, companies and organizations field space capabilities and benefit from the use of space systems, it is in our collective interest to act responsibly, to promote transparency and to enhance the long-term sustainability, stability, safety, and security of the space joint operating area.”
EUMETSAT joins five nations and many other organizations already participating in SSA data-sharing agreements with USSTRATCOM. US Strategic Command, the agency responsible for space operations and the overall strategic defence of America and its allies, already provides vital information on space debris to NOAA to help protect its satellite assets. The agreement with EUMETSAT extends this protection to the EUMETSAT assets and to the full Initial Joint Polar System.
“The agreement signed with the US Strategic Command consolidates the protection of our shared assets,” said the EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier. “As part of our Initial Joint Polar System, EUMETSAT’s Metop and NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellites deliver global measurements that are essential for weather forecasting and, hence, the safety of European and US citizens. The agreement signed with the US Strategic Command consolidates the protection of our shared assets.”
Such agreements enhance multinational space cooperation and streamline the process for USSTRATCOM partners to request specific information gathered by its Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The information is crucial for launch support, satellite maneuver planning, support for on-orbit anomalies, electromagnetic interference reporting and investigation, satellite decommissioning activities and on-orbit conjunction assessments.
EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organization which supplies weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products to the national meteorological services of more than 30 European countries and other users worldwide.
The USSTRATCOM infosite is located at http://www.stratcom.mil/
EUMETSAT's infosite may be accessed at http://www.eumetsat.int/
For additional information regarding NOAA, please visit http://www.noaa.gov/