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Operational cooperation with U.S. on Space Situational Awareness

29 August 2014

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In the context of the Initial Joint Polar System it shares with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), EUMETSAT has entered into a Space Situational Awareness data-sharing agreement with the US Strategic Command to protect its satellites against collision with space debris.

Since 1998, NOAA and EUMETSAT have cooperated to establish the Initial Joint Polar System, and both agencies now share the operational responsibilities for two polar-orbiting satellites and their respective ground segments. This strategic operational cooperation generates substantial benefits for Europe, the USA and the worldwide user communities.

US Strategic Command, the agency responsible for space operations and the overall strategic defence of America and its allies, already provides vital information on space debris to NOAA to help protect its satellite assets. The agreement with EUMETSAT extends this protection to the EUMETSAT assets and to the full Initial Joint Polar System.

"As part of our Initial Joint Polar System, EUMETSAT's Metop and NOAA's Suomi NPP satellites deliver global measurements that are essential for weather forecasting and, hence, the safety of European and US citizens. The agreement signed with the US Strategic Command consolidates the protection of our shared assets" said the EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier.

Source: European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)

Image credit: EUMETSAT/NOAA - The Initial Joint Polar System

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