The EUMETSAT Polar System - 13+ Successful Years of Global Observations for Operational Weather Prediction and Climate Monitoring

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  • 1 EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany
  • 2 VisionSpace Technologies GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany
  • 3 Exostaff GmbH, Bickenbach, Germany
  • 4 CGI Deutschland B.V. & Co KG, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany
  • 5 Hamtec Consulting Ltd., Lincoln, United Kingdom
  • 6 HE Space Operations GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany
  • 7 CNES, Toulouse, France
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Abstract

After successful launch in November 2018 and successful commissioning of Metop-C, all three satellites of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) are in orbit together and operational. EPS is part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) with the US (NOAA) and provides the service in the mid-morning orbit. The Metop satellites carry a mission payload of sounding and imaging instruments, which allow provision of support to operational meteorology and climate monitoring which are the main mission objectives for EPS. Applications include Numerical Weather Prediction, atmospheric composition monitoring, and marine meteorology. Climate monitoring is supported through the generation of long time series through the program duration of 20+ years. The payload was developed and contributed by partners, including NOAA, CNES, and ESA. EUMETSAT and ESA developed the space segment in cooperation. The system has proven its value since the first satellite Metop-A, with enhanced products at high reliability for atmospheric sounding, delivered a very strong positive impact on NWP and results beyond expectations for atmospheric composition and chemistry applications. Having multiple satellites in orbit - now three, has enabled enhanced and additional products with increased impact, like atmospheric motion vector products at latitudes not accessible to geostationary observations or increased probability of radio-occultations and hence atmospheric soundings with the GRAS instruments. The paper gives an overview on the system, the embarked payload and discusses the benefits of generated products for applications and services. The conclusions point to the follow-on system, currently under development and assuring continuity for another 20+ years.

Corresponding Author: Dr. Jörg Ackermann, EUMETSAT, EUMETSAT-Allee 1, D-64295 Darmstadt, Germany. E-mail: Joerg.Ackermann@eumetsat.int

Abstract

After successful launch in November 2018 and successful commissioning of Metop-C, all three satellites of the EUMETSAT Polar System (EPS) are in orbit together and operational. EPS is part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) with the US (NOAA) and provides the service in the mid-morning orbit. The Metop satellites carry a mission payload of sounding and imaging instruments, which allow provision of support to operational meteorology and climate monitoring which are the main mission objectives for EPS. Applications include Numerical Weather Prediction, atmospheric composition monitoring, and marine meteorology. Climate monitoring is supported through the generation of long time series through the program duration of 20+ years. The payload was developed and contributed by partners, including NOAA, CNES, and ESA. EUMETSAT and ESA developed the space segment in cooperation. The system has proven its value since the first satellite Metop-A, with enhanced products at high reliability for atmospheric sounding, delivered a very strong positive impact on NWP and results beyond expectations for atmospheric composition and chemistry applications. Having multiple satellites in orbit - now three, has enabled enhanced and additional products with increased impact, like atmospheric motion vector products at latitudes not accessible to geostationary observations or increased probability of radio-occultations and hence atmospheric soundings with the GRAS instruments. The paper gives an overview on the system, the embarked payload and discusses the benefits of generated products for applications and services. The conclusions point to the follow-on system, currently under development and assuring continuity for another 20+ years.

Corresponding Author: Dr. Jörg Ackermann, EUMETSAT, EUMETSAT-Allee 1, D-64295 Darmstadt, Germany. E-mail: Joerg.Ackermann@eumetsat.int
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