Second phase of activities gives new impulse to SAFs
The second Continuous Development and Operations Phase (CDOP-2) for EUMETSAT's Satellite Application Facility (SAF) network which began this month will improve and expand the portfolio of SAF products and services over the next five years
Among the achievements of the entire SAF network, the following examples can be highlighted: the SAF on Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP SAF) and SAF on Radio-Occultation Meteorology (ROM SAF) have developed software for users and NWP centres, allowing the assimilation of satellite data products to support improvements in forecasts. The SAF on Climate Monitoring (CM SAF), as well as the SAF on Ocean and Sea Ice (OSI SAF) and the SAF on Ozone and Atmospheric Chemistry Monitoring (O3M SAF) have generated long-term homogeneous time series to support the analysis of climate variability over the past decades. The SAF on Support to Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting (NWC SAF) and the SAF on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H SAF) have developed software packages and data products with high relevance for forecasting weather and its impact on the hydrological system, which are helpful in particular in severe meteorological situations. Finally, the SAF on Land Surface Analysis (LSA SAF) has developed products and services related to vegetation and land surface parameters, not only for users in Europe, but also in Africa and South America.
During CDOP-2, the eight SAFs will continue the operation and data products developed during CDOP-1 and will also conduct the necessary improvements. In addition, new products will respond to the evolving needs of the European Meteorological Services and other users.
As the SAFs are an integral component of the overall EUMETSAT application ground segment, during CDOP-2, they will prepare for the exploitation of the potential of the next generation of EUMETSAT satellites, Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and the EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG), taking advantage of enhanced and completely new sensors. They will begin the scientific definition and development of MTG and EPS-SG products, work which will be finalised during CDOP-3 between 2017 and 2022, when these satellites become operational.
CDOP-2 activities and the expansion of product portfolios will contribute to relevant international initiatives. This includes Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and the World Meteorological Organization's Sustained, Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (SCOPE-CM) initiative.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 27 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (pending ratification), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and four Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania, and Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8 and -9 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.
Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, was launched in October 2006 and has been delivering operational data since 15 May 2007.
The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the missions EUMETSAT conducts.
The data and products from EUMETSAT's satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.