EUMETSAT has increased the bandwidth of the communications link between Svalbard, Norway, and its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany

(PresseBox) ( Darmstadt, )
This will speed up the transfer of global data from its Metop and the US NOAA-19 polar-orbiting satellites acquired at its Svalbard station and further improve timeliness of delivery to forecast centres. Observations from polar orbiting satellites need to be delivered as quickly as possible after sensing because the value of observations for forecasting diminishes with increasing latency.

In 2011, EUMETSAT had already cut latency of global data from its Metop satellite by a factor of 2, to 65 minutes on average, by downlinking twice per orbit instead of once, to the US McMurdo station in Antarctica as well as in Svalbard. This was made possible under the Antarctic Data Acquisition (ADA) project run in cooperation with NOAA, with support from NASA and the US National Science Foundation.

The latest improvements in the communications link between Svalbard and Darmstadt, implemented in June, have further reduced the average data latency for the EUMETSAT Metop-B satellite from 65 to 47 minutes on average and from 50 to 25 minutes in the most favourable case.

This has also significantly improved timeliness for global data from the EUMETSAT secondary satellite, Metop-A, and those from the NOAA-18 and -19 satellites also acquired at Svalbard, under the Initial Joint Polar System cooperation with NOAA.

At regional level, the EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service (EARS) delivers Metop observations of Europe and adjacent seas within 15 to 30 minutes, based on retransmission of satellite data acquired and processed by a network of station distributed across EUMETSAT Member States. In the context of the IJPS cooperation with NOAA, this regional service has recently been extended to data from the US NPP Suomi satellite.
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