Met Office Space Programme
The Met Office Space Programme team liaises with the British space industry and provides advice on long-term strategy to ensure that our policies on space-related activities are well founded.
We represent the UK at EUMETSAT, and provide input to ESA and UK Space Agency, and other national and international meetings.
The team works with the relevant expert areas of the Met Office for scientific advice regarding use of satellite data, ocean observations, instruments and missions, international relations and data policy.
UK Space Agency
The UK Space Agency (UKSA) is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Met Office is an active partner of the UKSA, and along with other government departments, agencies, industry and research organisations we are a member of the Space Leadership Council.
European organisation for the exploitation of meteorological satellites (EUMETSAT)
The Met Office represents the UK in EUMETSAT - a partnership of European governments, represented in most cases by their national meteorological services.
EUMETSAT's current programmes are:
- Meteosat (MTP) - The first generation of satellites in the geostationary orbit. Meteosat 6 and 7 are currently operational.
- Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) - Meteosat 8 and 9 are currently in operation, and preparations are continuing for the launch and future operation of the MSG 3 and 4 satellites.
- EUMETSAT Polar System - METOP A is currently operational, and preparations for the launch and future operations of the METOP B and METOP C satellites is in progress.
- Jason 2 - since its launch in 2008, it is the first 'Optional' Programme of EUMETSAT and provides high accuracy satellite altimetry observations. Its follow-on, Jason-3, will be launched around 2013.
Plans and activities are are already in place for the continuation and successors of the current EUMETSAT satellite programmes - Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) geostationary satellites; EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG), and Jason-3 Ocean Altimetry satellite programmes.
European Space Agency (ESA)
The UK is a founder member of the European Space Agency (ESA). The UK Space Agency represents the UK at ESA, and co-ordinates the UK funding for the relevant ESA programmes.
ESA is a partnership of 18 European Member States. Canada also participates in some projects under a Cooperation Agreement and Hungary, Romania, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia are participating in a plan for the European Cooperating States.
ESA's programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, the Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries.