Speaking at the event in Leuk, Mr Berset stressed the vital role of international technical and scientific cooperation in the exploitation of meteorological satellites. He also underlined the central importance of EUMETSAT and its task of making observational data available to its Member States.
Weather satellites provide data on cloud development, concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere, and temperature and humidity profiles, among other things. As such, they play a crucial role in weather forecasting, improving severe weather warnings and studying climate change.
The latest generation of weather satellites, to be launched from the end of 2022, will provide new opportunities for the development of innovative weather and climate data and products. Tomorrow, satellite data will make it possible to monitor storm activity in a few seconds, to optimize the potential for using solar energy and to review the quality of numerical weather forecasting models, for example.
In order to exploit all these advantages, the data reception and processing capacity must be considerably improved: it is estimated that the volume of data available will be more than 10 times higher than today. After the launch of the first satellite, this state-of-the-art station with its three 6.5 meter antennas will receive huge volumes of meteorological data every minute, which it will transmit to EUMETSAT in Darmstadt, Germany.
The exploitation of meteorological satellites is extremely complex and expensive. Founded in 1986, EUMETSAT is an operational agency with 30 Member States sharing data and costs. Switzerland bears approximately 3.5% of the agency’s costs. The Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss represents Switzerland’s interests within this European intergovernmental organisation.
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