Decisions were made at a virtual meeting of the Council of Europe’s operational satellite agency for weather and climate, EUMETSAT, regarding the transition plan from the second to the third generation of Meteosat geostationary satellites for 2022-2026.
It was determined that EUMETSAT will move Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) spacecraft Meteosat-9 over the Indian Ocean in 2022 to replace the ageing Meteosat-8, and continue MSG observations of that region until at least 2025. Meteosat observations of the Indian Ocean started in 1998 with a first-generation satellite, Meteosat-5.
At the same time, the Council approved a contract with Arianespace to launch the second and third Meteosat Third Generation satellites, MTG-S1 and MTG-I2, with Ariane-6, in 2023 and 2025.
It was revealed that considering Meteosat Third Generation and EUMETSAT’s involvement in Copernicus as unique assets for the “comprehensive strategy of Europe with Africa” and EUMETSAT’s own strategy in relation to Africa, the Council authorized an exchange of letters with the European Commission DG DEVCO. This will set the objectives for furthering long-standing cooperation in support of sustainable development in Africa.