EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1986. Its purpose is to supply weather and climate-related satellite data, images and products to the national Meteorological Services of its Member and Cooperating States in Europe, and other users worldwide.
Belgium has been a Member State since its founding in 1986. EUMETSAT has seen the successful launch and operation of 11 geostationary satellites and 3 polar satellites, with many more of both orbit types to come. The data are continuously acquired and distributed among its user base 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They have proved instrumental in weather forecasting for decades, and have contributed much to the monitoring and understanding of the Earth’s climate.
Apart from purely weather and climate-driven operations, the data gathered by EUMETSAT’s satellites is also being used extensively in research: EUMETSAT has set up a SAFs (Satellite Application Facilities) network providing operational services in eight specific fields:
- Ocean and Sea Ice
- Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management
- Atmospheric Composition Monitoring
- Numerical Weather Prediction
- Climate Monitoring
- Radio Occultation Meteorology
- Support to Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting
- Land Surface Analysis