EUMETSAT and the National Meteorological Agency of Benin to Host the 16th EUMETSAT User Forum

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Source: Space.com

Key Highlights

  • A new generation of Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) will assist African national meteorological services in issuing more accurate and timely warnings.
  • In preparation for the MTG satellite data, new receiving stations are installed across several African countries.

EUMETSAT has announced that its 16th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa will be organised in partnership with the Agence Nationale de la Météorologie du Bénin (Météo Bénin). The event will take place from September 16-20, 2024, under the Ministry of Living Environment and Transport, responsible for Sustainable Development in the Republic of Benin.

The forum held every two years will be a valuable platform for productive exchanges between EUMETSAT and its African data users. The event will enhance the exchange of expertise and promote best practices among African meteorologists regarding utilising data from Meteosat geostationary satellites. The next generation of these satellites, Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), will enhance predictions of rapidly developing severe weather events, such as convective storms, enabling African national meteorological services to issue more accurate and timely warnings to the public, first responders, and civil authorities. Discussions will also focus on Africa’s preparations for deploying these new satellites.

Furthermore, the memorandum of understanding signed in May between EUMETSAT and the African Union Commission (AUC) solidifies the parties’ commitment to ensuring that African environmental and meteorological services and other users continue to benefit from EUMETSAT’s satellite data. It lays the groundwork for future collaborative projects, deploying new data reception infrastructure and providing educational resources and expertise.

In preparation for the MTG satellite data, new receiving stations are being installed across several African countries. One station in Cotonou will be set up before the event and used for a “live” demonstration. In addition, an original artwork created by three African artists will be presented to the African Space Agency. This artwork, symbolising the connection between space, Africa, and climate change, was produced on the nose cone of the Ariane 5 rocket that launched the first MTG Earth observation satellite in December 2022.

The forum will also feature a youth competition, encouraging participants to propose innovative applications for satellite data. This initiative aims to engage the younger generation in the ongoing development of satellite technology applications. Attendance at the forum is by invitation only, ensuring a focused and productive gathering of key stakeholders in meteorology and environmental science.

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