The current operations of EUMETCast both Ku-band
and C-band services are detailed on other pages.
These services currently contribute to the growing expansion of GEONETCast.
The data chain for EUMETCast services: -
EUMETCast-Europe is uplinked from Usingen, Germany (Deutsche Telekom) to Hot Bird-6.
This service is received by EUMETSAT's Fucino ground station in Italy and an Africa-specific subset of the data is uplinked (Telespazio) to Atlantic Bird-3 for transmission of the C-band EUMETCast-Africa service.
The Hot Bird-6 Ku-band European service is also received by a ground station in Madrid and relayed to a ground station in Paris where an Americas specific subset of the data is uplinked (Globecast) to NSS-806 for the EUMETCast-America C-band service.
The extensions to EUMETCast are Europe's contribution to the GEONETCast system, instigated in 2005 by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and to be completed in 10 years. This will be a global meteorological data dissemination service, disseminated via commercial satellites; it will provide round-the-clock continuous, reliable global data to end-users just minutes following acquisition 'requiring only off-the-shelf satellite receiving equipment and standard personal computers'.
The current (October 2007) situation:-
The Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) has begun a pre-operational service called FengYunCast, their contribution to GEONETCast via the AsiaSat-4 satellite at 122°E, also on C-band in DVB format. Its footprint covers a wide area: the whole of Asia, part of the Western Pacific and into the Middle East and most of Russia (figure1). It relays data from FY-1D, FY-2C, NOAA, MODIS on Terra and Aqua, and MTSAT.
The USA is currently developing a GEONETCast-Americas DVB service which will cover both North and South America.
Regarding EUMETCast-America and GEONETCast-Americas, EUMETSAT issued this statement in May 2007:-
'GEONETCast-America and EUMETCast-Americas are at the moment complementary to each other, since they cover different kinds of data. NOAA is currently not intending to include/cover the data on EUMETCast-America in their planned GEONETCast-Americas system but focuses instead on products only in particular, the non-meteorological society benefit area ones. The continuation of the operation of EUMETSAT's EUMETCast-America service beyond the initial period depends on EUMETSAT delegate body decision.'
As to the ongoing data content of the expanding GEONETCast services:-
'Data exchange between the three GEONETCast Network Centres (GNC) (NOAA, EUMETSAT, CMA) is currently being discussed with a view to cover all nine societal benefit areas as defined by GEO.'
Probably GEONETCast was destined to happen anyway. This form of distribution of meteorological data via commercial satellites had been suggested by CGMS (the World Meteorological Organisation's Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites) for many years. But it was EUMETSAT who through adversity pioneered the way to a new multi-cast data distribution system and proved it to be reliable, rugged and expandable; the big bonus for the user community is being able to utilise inexpensive, off-the-shelf domestic satellite-TV reception equipment.
T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom and Telespazio played a part in the development of EUMETCast and the provision of the service links.
Thanks also to EUMETSAT for help in the preparation of this page.