05.08.2021 – 12:00
The Yumitsat Council approves the acquisition of meteorological data from Spire Global Luxembourg Sarl
Offer 1: EUMETSAT buys meteorological data from a commercial provider
EUMETSAT, the European Agency for Meteorological Satellites, has started an innovative pilot program to acquire data for the first time from a commercial satellite fleet operator for use in weather forecasts.
The EUMETSAT Council has agreed to purchase data from Spire Global Luxembourg Sarl for a maximum of €9 million over three years.
EUMETSAT receives so-called radio latency data from Spire, processes it and makes it available to calculate weather forecast models.
“Radio blocking data gives us information about the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere. It has been shown that this data has a positive impact on the accuracy of weather forecasts,” says Phil Evans, General Manager of Eumetsat.
“YUMITSAT already provides weather services to its member countries with radio latency data from a device onboard Metop satellites in low Earth orbit. However, research shows that increasing the amount of this data improves the accuracy of weather forecast calculation.
The decision to acquire this data in a pilot program from a commercial provider gives EUMETSAT and its member states the opportunity to evaluate the costs and benefits of opportunities offered by the “new space” sector.
Radio invisibility data from the Global Navigation Satellite System provide a direct description of the state of the atmosphere. This is made possible by measuring the refraction of the signal sent through the atmosphere by a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite to a near-Earth satellite. The signal interval strength provides information about the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere.
Spire operates a fleet of more than 100 nanosatellites in orbit around the Earth.
By processing and monitoring data from the private sector, EUMETSAT ensures consistency with radio blocking data from other sources. No additional hardware or software is required to process, publish, and archive new data.
Under a contract approved by the Board, Spire provides near-real-time radio steganography data to EUMETSAT. Data can be transferred directly to third parties via a global license. This approach, largely supported by EUMETSAT member states, follows ongoing discussions on the World Meteorological Organization’s Data Guidelines, which aim to expand and improve the free and unrestricted international exchange of Earth system data.
Many branches of economics rely on accurate weather forecasts. This is why EUMETSAT is committed to researching cost-effective developments and innovations in order to provide weather services in our member states with the data they need to protect their communities,” explains Evans.
“Especially nowadays, where climate change is having a strong impact on our weather systems, we must be particularly flexible in order to meet the requirements of our member states.”
The European Organization for the Use of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organization based in Darmstadt, Germany, that currently includes 30 European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg). Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Hungary, and the United Kingdom).
EUMETSAT currently operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-9, -10 and -11 over Europe and Africa and Meteosat-8 over the Indian Ocean.
In addition, EUMETSAT operates three polar-orbiting Metop weather satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) together with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
EUMETSAT is also a partner in Jason Expeditions that are being carried out jointly by Europe and the USA for high precision sea level measurements (Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).
Operational EUMETSAT data and products make an important contribution to weather forecasting and monitoring of the environment and climate change.
The European Union entrusted Yumitsat to operate the four sentinel missions of the Copernican space component to monitor the atmosphere, oceans and climate on its behalf. EUMETSAT is carrying out these missions in cooperation with the European Space Agency and is already operating the Sentinel-3 naval mission.
EUMETSAT works with operators of Earth observation satellites from Europe as well as China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States.
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