CNES and the French national weather service Meteo-France are both cutting-edge agencies in their respective domains, and have been working together successfully for many years in a wide range of spheres. Today at Meteo-France’s Toulouse site, Jean-Yves Le Gall and Jean-Marc Lacave signed a framework agreement reaffirming their commitment to continue cooperating closely.
Operational meteorology has over the years become a key user of space data. Cooperation between the two agencies therefore covers scientific collaborations to prepare space missions and utilize the resulting information, plus the development of applications combining meteorological and space data. Meteo-France also provides vital support for launches from Guiana Space Centre through state-of-the-art forecasting services that draw on both local weather observation facilities and Meteo-France systems. The process is managed by experienced weather forecasters from Meteo-France.
CNES and Meteo-France wish to extend this fruitful collaboration, with the development of new products and services for key economic and public sectors, including resource management, energy, mobility, health, risk management and security, plus tourism. They also aim to support economic development through the incubation of start-ups, mainly via the GreenTech initiative and the incubator based at Meteo-France in Toulouse.
The IASI instrument and Megha-Tropiques satellite are just two examples of the many successful projects that CNES and Meteo-France have undertaken together. IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer), which measures temperature and humidity profiles as well as concentrations of 25 components in the atmosphere, is an instrument developed by CNES that revolutionized its field. In Earth orbit since 2006, IASI delivers crucial data for the weather forecasts generated by Meteo-France using its ARPEGE global model. Megha-Tropiques is a French-Indian satellite in orbit over the tropics that is carrying an atmospheric microwave sounding radiometer called SAPHIR, also developed by CNES. Meteo-France has played a pioneering role in assimilating SAPHIR data for storm forecasting. Many other national weather services around the world have now followed suit, thus extending the mission’s international reach.
After the signature, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “CNES is especially proud to have signed this framework agreement with Meteo-France, a partner that complements our own capabilities so well. Supporting weather forecasting from space is one of our agency’s missions and we are pursuing an ambitious partnership policy through cooperation agreements with research bodies, industry and more broadly users of satellite-based services.”
Jean-Marc Lacave added: “I am delighted with this signature, which officializes the longstanding collaboration between Meteo-France and CNES, two key partners who are working to provide an innovative and top-quality service offering that is of international standing.”