EUMETSAT and CNES Sign Agreement on ARGOS Receivers to Fly on METOP-SG Satellites

Press Release From: EUMETSAT
Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The agreement was signed in the presence of Christophe Vassal, chairman of the Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS) Board, the operator of ARGOS and a subsidiary formed by CNES and the French Ifremer institute in 1986, which – like EUMETSAT – is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

ARGOS receivers provided by CNES are already flying on board the current generation of EUMETSAT’s Metop satellites where they collect in situ observations of the three-dimensional ocean, acquired by buoys, profiling floats and other automated devices.

The new agreement will ensure the continuation of these vital data into the 2022-2040 timeframe.

Under the new agreement, EUMETSAT will host the ARGOS DCS instrument developed by CNES on its Metop Second Generation satellites.

EUMETSAT, via its EPS-SG ground segment, will also ensure that all information gathered from the Data Collection Platforms is transmitted to the Argos Data Processing and Distribution Centre for dissemination to the user community.

The EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier said: “The ARGOS system ensures the collection of most ocean observations gathered by buoys or drifters, thereby contributing to the forecasts of the ocean-atmosphere coupled system together with the observations provided by EUMETSAT’s satellites and the Jason altimetry missions, also shared with CNES. This synergy makes our cooperation with CNES all the more valuable.”

CNES president, Jean-Yves Le Gall, said: “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.

By supporting oceanography and wildlife tracking applications, Argos is proving a key tool in predicting climate change and gauging its effects.”

Christophe Vassal, chairman of the CLS Board commented, “Argos is a pioneer satellite-based system which has been operating since 1978. It helps the scientific community to better monitor and understand our environment, but also enables industry to comply with environmental protection regulations implemented by various governments.

This system has revolutionized the way to study the ocean, protect the biodiversity and study our planet. We are really pleased that EUMETSAT ensure the future of this marvellous tool.”


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9, -10 and -11 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and climate change.

After completion of the in-orbit commissioning of Sentinel-3A, EUMETSAT will exploit the Copernicus Sentinel-3 marine mission in cooperation withESA and on behalf of the EU, and deliver data services to the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service and users.

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