NOAA Signs New Cooperative Agreement with EUMETSAT

NOAA Signs New Cooperative Agreement with EUMETSAT

NOAA and its European counterpart, EUMETSAT, signed a new agreement this week extending their cooperative activities in weather, ocean, and climate observations.

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and NOAA have worked together for decades, beginning with each providing backup geostationary weather satellite capabilities for the other in the 1980s.   The cooperation grew closer in the late 1990s with the decision to operate an integrated polar-orbiting weather satellite constellation.  NOAA, DOD and EUMETSAT each provide one satellite.  The three satellites are in complementary orbits (early morning, mid-morning, and afternoon) to enable the more precise forecasts available today.  NOAA and EUMETSAT also cooperate in the JASON series of ocean altimetry satellites.

The agreement signed on Tuesday by acting NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan and EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier extends that cooperation, providing “a general policy framework to enhance the Parties’ ability to plan for long-term space-based observing systems for operational meteorology and operational monitoring of the oceans, the composition of the atmosphere, and climate monitoring.”

The agreement is for “long-term” cooperation and has no set date for termination.   It became effective with the signature of both Parties and remains in effect unless terminated by either Party with not less than one-year’s notice.  No financial commitments are made by either side. 

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