June 28, 2016

CNES-Eumetsat cooperation Agencies sign agreement to fly Argos instruments on MetOp-SG satellites

Monday 27 June in Darmstadt, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Eumetsat Director General Alain Ratier signed a cooperation agreement to fly instruments for the Argos data collection and location system on Eumetsat’s MetOp-SG second-generation polar-orbiting satellites. The signing ceremony was also attended by Christophe Vassal, CEO of CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites), the CNES subsidiary that operates the Argos system and, like Eumetsat, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Argos instruments supplied by CNES are already flying on the current generation of MetOp satellites, collecting in-situ data of the oceans in three dimensions acquired by data buoys, floats and other devices. Combined with satellite observations, these measurements are making a vital contribution to ocean modelling and forecasting.

The new agreement signed by CNES and Eumetsat today will assure data continuity from 2022 through to 2040, with fourth-generation Argos instruments developed by CNES to be flown on the MetOp-SG1B and MetOp-SG2B satellites, and possibly also on MetOp-SG3B. Eumetsat will guarantee access to the service for the ground segment required to support data transmission to the user community.

On the occasion of the signature, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “CNES is very proud to have signed this new agreement with Eumetsat today. The Argos system and its user community are in the best shape ever and the number of applications is growing all the time. Besides helping scientists to track wildlife, Argos is also contributing to maritime safety and security, monitoring fishing vessels and tracking racing yachts, collecting data on ocean currents, salinity and temperature, and aiding weather forecasts, thus enhancing our understanding of climate change and biodiversity. By supporting oceanography and wildlife tracking applications, Argos is proving a key tool in predicting climate change and gauging its effects. With five new instruments set for launch in the years ahead, the renewal of the Argos system and its six instruments currently in orbit is now assured.”

Eumetsat Director General Alain Ratier added: “The Argos system collects most ocean measurements from data buoys and floats, giving us deeper insight into the coupled ocean-atmosphere system, as do observations from the satellites operated by Eumetsat and by the Jason altimetry missions, on which we are also partnering CNES. It is this synergy that makes our cooperation with CNES so valuable.”

Pascale Bresson Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39 pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37 julien.watelet@cnes.fr