NOAA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites today announced they have signed a Data Denial Implementation Plan, which secures the continued flow of real-time meteorological satellite data from NOAA-provided instruments onboard EUMETSAT’s MetOp spacecraft to public duty users in the United States and EUMETSAT Member States during episodes that might otherwise require data denial. Data denial means real-time data from U.S. environmental instruments can be denied during periods of crisis or war.

The agreement provides the necessary steps for data denial if NOAA makes the request. One important feature of the DDIP is that it contains lists of public duty users in the United States and in EUMETSAT Member and Cooperating States who will be allowed to continue receiving real-time access to U.S. instrument data during episodes of data denial. No restriction will apply to the availability of data more than 3 hours old.

NOAA and EUMETSAT also agreed to allow for EUMETSAT’s repair of a sounding instrument that was damaged in a 2003 incident involving NOAA’s N-Prime satellite. In exchange, NOAA will extend pre-launch support of an imager instrument designated for integration on EUMETSAT’s MetOp-3 satellite.

Together, EUMETSAT’s MetOp and NOAA’s polar satellites will provide global data for improving forecasts of severe weather and disaster mitigation and monitoring the environment. The MetOp satellite series consists of three spacecraft, which are designed to provide operational data from a polar orbit until 2020. The MetOp satellites, flying in a morning orbit of the globe, will carry key NOAA instruments. NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellites, the current NOAA-18 and the future NOAA-N Prime, carry a EUMETSAT instrument in an afternoon orbit.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, is an intergovernmental organisation that establishes and maintains operational meteorological satellites for 19 European States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom). EUMETSAT has signed 11 Cooperating State Agreements. Those with Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the Czech Republic have entered into force whereas the Agreements with Serbia and Montenegro and Iceland are to be ratified in the near future.

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* NOAA Satellite and Information Service