Cabinet of Hesse makes historic visit to EUMETSAT during a milestone year

EUMETSAT HQ with satellites
EUMETSAT HQ with satellites

Hessian Cabinet adopts new space policy during special meeting at EUMETSAT headquarters

The Cabinet of the Hessian Government launched its new space strategy in the impressive surroundings of the Darmstadt headquarters of EUMETSAT, Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, today.

The meeting of 11 ministers on the campus was a first for EUMETSAT in what will be an historic year for the organisation.

The first spacecraft in EUMETSAT’s next-generation of Meteosat meteorological satellites - essential for forecasting severe weather events such as destructive storms - is expected to be launched in November.

"From here in Darmstadt, EUMETSAT will control the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites, process the data from their instruments and disseminate them to our 30 member states," EUMETSAT Director of Administration Silvia Castañer said.

"The MTG system is one of the most complex and innovative meteorological satellite systems ever developed and will revolutionise the very short-range forecasting of severe weather in Europe.

"So we are delighted the Hessian Government has chosen EUMETSAT as the site to launch its space strategy, with its focus on innovation and promoting expertise in this region."

EUMETSAT benefits from having its base in Darmstadt, the City of Science, its close proximity to ESA’s European Space Operations Centre and easy links to related businesses. Hesse has created the necessary environment for innovative and creative industries to thrive, with organisations like EUMETSAT contributing to and benefiting from this environment.

Castañer said the MTG system, when fully deployed, would allow meteorologists in Europe to track the full life cycle of storms from space for the first time, from initial instability in the atmosphere before clouds even form, through to lightning strikes.

The satellites will fly novel and more advanced instruments allowing imagery of Europe and Africa to be relayed up to twice as fast as is possible now and in higher resolution.

"The MTG system will save lives," Castañer said.

"Meteorological services in our member states, including the Deutscher Wetterdienst, are preparing now for the very significant increase in the amount and quality of the data they will receive from EUMETSAT. We are collaborating closely with our member states to make sure they are well placed to make best use of this critical data.

"The importance to society of the space industry, and EUMETSAT’s role, is in sharp focus now. Our work has never been more important as severe weather events become more frequent in a changing climate."