EUMETSAT keeps Africa in view

eumetsatEUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, held its 74th Council meeting in Darmstadt, Germany, recently

At the meeting, the EUMETSAT Council was informed about progress in the preparations for the launches of the second Metop (Metop-B) polar-orbiting and the third Meteosat Second Generation (MSG-3) geostationary satellites, both planned in the first half of 2012. The Council also gave the go-ahead for planning the launch of MSG-4 in January 2015 and storing it in orbit to save costs and eliminate risks of keeping it on the ground too long. The council also authorised the start of the procurement process for the ground segment facilities required to command and control the future satellites and acquire their data, in order for work on Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) to continue apace.

The Council also took steps to continue EUMETSAT’s long-standing beneficial engagement in Africa, approving first the five-year extension of the agreement enabling the African Centre for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) to use EUMETSAT data and products and to disseminate products of its own via EUMETCast. Then, after being informed of the successful deployment of 111 new EUMETCast reception stations across the African continent in the framework of the AMESD (African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development) project funded by the European Development Fund, Member States agreed that EUMETSAT could contribute to the follow-on MESA (Monitoring of Security and Environment in Africa) project under similar conditions.

EUMETSAT will offer technical support for the maintenance of reception stations, use of EUMETCast for product dissemination, first-line support to users through the EUMETSAT Help Desk, and coordination of training activities.

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