GEO Symposia from the Archive

There are complete reports of these past Symposia in the GEO Quarterly. However, the webmaster thought that those viewing this site may be interested in learning what topics have been covered and put some faces to names.

GEO's Weather Satellite Symposium.  2014 2007 2006 2005 2004


GEO Symposium at the National Space Centre 2014.

Videos of this Symposium were posted on YouTube and can be found here.

Our speakers kindly gave us copies of their presentations as below or here.

Dr Neil Humpage (PowerPoint) Aharon Fuchs, Space Band (.pdf)
Klaus-Peter Renner (PowerPoint) Gordon Sawatzky, Novra Technologies (.pdf)
Kim-Hui Guane (PowerPoint) Rob Albas (.pdf)
David Taylor (PowerPoint)

An exceptional day with excellent informative speakers, a great venue and a chance to get up to speed on the latest changes to EUMETCast.

All images are courtesy David & Cecilia Taylor


Aharon Fuchs (R) (Space Band) discusses the Ayecka receiver with Alan Banks (L) and Francis Greaves


Aharon Fuchs (Space Band) with three
Ayecka SR1 receivers


The queue to register for the Symposium with Nadine Bell doing the honours!


The GEO Shop with Nigel Evans (L), David Anderson, Michele Evans and an assistant in training!


Klaus-Peter Renner in conversation with
David Simmons and Kim-Hui Gaune.


Rob Albas (L) with his X-Y antenna rotator talking with Rob Denton (M) and Elmar Bögels (R)


Francis Bell gets the formal proceedings underway.


Neil Humpage, presenting "Science from Meteorological Satellites".
I found this to be a fascinating talk, particularly the data from Sea Surface Temperature and the ability to map the World's Ocean Currents in excellent detail. (Ed)


Klaus-Peter Renner presenting "EUMETCast Europe DVB-S2 Migration". A useful overview of the reasons for change. Essentially the amount of data available to send exceeds the capacity of the current system by some margin.


Kim-Hui Gaune on EUMETSAT's
Launch Plans &
Future Service Enhancements.


Klaus-Peter Renner's talk created a lot of interest!


Aharon Fuchs (Space Band) presenting the Ayecka receiver range, with an SR 1 in the hand.


Gordon Sawatzky (Novra) presenting
the Novra receiver range.


Rob Alblas on the X-Y satellite tracker
developed by the Kunstmanen group.


Rob Alblas on the Dwingeloo 25 metre antenna.


David Taylor on
"EUMETCast served three ways"
( apologies to cooking programs on TV).

AGM & Raffle


Francis Bell gives the report from Les Hamilton on the GEO Quarterly.


GEO reports: David Anderson on membership.


GEO reports:
Nigel Evans on the GEO Shop.


GEO reports:
David Simmons on
technical aspects.


Questions on the quality of an
Electronic GEO-Q from the floor


GEO reports: Alan Banks on the Web site.


Folks awaiting the raffle draw, technical
& non-technical prizes.


A FUNcube Pro Plus receiver was autioned - a true bargain at £50!


The raffle in progress.


John Tellick choosing his tipple,
Clive Finnis looks on.



GEO's 4th Symposium. National Space Centre Leicester 19th May 2007

As always well attended and greatly appreciated by the attendees.

The day was a mixture of presentations, workshops and demonstrations.

Following members' requests there was more opportunity for informal conversations than in previous years.

As usual, the GEO Shop was at Leicester, and proved a very popular attraction for delegates who could collect items and save on the normal post and package charges.

Ferdinand Valk spoke about the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2009.
He included a fascinating history of previous polar years, their characters and their achievements.
With the current recognition of the polar regions as important indicators of climate change it is not surprising just how many projects and studies are planned to take place in this IPY.

John Tellick gave a practical tutorial of dish alignment for EUMETSAT reception. Note the essential tool near his right foot!

David Taylor giving helpful advice to members.
Earlier in the meeting he gave an update on the newly launched Metop-A satellite, its sensors and data dissemination methods.
Data is freely available to amateurs such as GEO members.
The fine tuning of your PC to handle the new data concluded David's talk.

Our keynote speaker, Storm Dunlop, gave a fascinating talk about various cloud structures and how they related to satellite images.
Storm is clearly an enthusiast, and he included a variety of both digital and pre-digital images illustrating not only the cloud effects, but how the cloud ice and water content could refract and diffract the sun to produce stunning natural visual phenomena.

At the end of the formal presentations a good number remained for the AGM and Management Team reports.

The raffle, with many prizes, provided an incentive at the end of the day!



GEO's 3rd Symposium. National Space Centre, Leicester April 29, 2006.

What a Great Day!

The sun shone on the National Space Centre when over 70 delegates enjoyed a packed day.

The Speakers

Douglas Mansfield

Douglas Mansfield

Sally Wannop

The first speaker was Douglas Mansfield, a senior forecaster with the UK Met office. Douglas gave us some background and detail about how the UK MET Office uses satellite images in conjunction with its numerical models, showing how they overlay the satellite image with their forecast model.

Sally Wannop, the User Support Manager for EUMETSAT gave details of what to expect from EUMETCAST in the way of upcoming launches and how these were going to provide more products that we and the wider user community can take advantage of. There are now 850 registered amateur users of their services. The audience expressed a vote of thanks to Sally for giving up her weekend, and also the other members of the Helpdesk for the efficient, helpful and detailed assistance that they give us all.

David Taylor

Arne van Belle

Ferdinand Valk

The afternoon session was opened by David Taylor who explained about the new data type coming from EUMETCast. David announced the launch of MSG Data Manager 2.5, which can not only deal with MSG-1 data but alternatively with the new MSG-2 data, and GeoSatSignal 6. There were demonstrations of AVHRR Manager, which will be required to capture data from the new MetOp satellite. The quality and definition from this data type, shown with HRPT Reader, is amazing. David concluded by giving some tips on getting the best from his software.

Two of our friends from Werkgroep Kunstmanen continued the presentations. Arne van Belle spoke with his usual enthusiasm and good humour about setting up a twin-PC system for EUMETCast to cope with the added load when MetOp comes on stream. Arne strongly recommended setting up a RAMdisk on the receiving PC.

Ferdinand Valk entertained everyone with an illustrated presentation relating to hurricanes.

Finally, matters were brought to a conclusion by Lawrence Harris who explained how frustration at finding the sky obscured when intent on pursuing his hobby of astronomy, he turned to weather satellites to enable him to predict when he could expect good viewing conditions. He also displayed photos taken by Patrick Moore, depicting him with colleagues after they had built their first school observatory.


The symposium was drawn to a close by Francis Bell, who presided over GEO's AGM. He reported on the health of the company's finances and membership numbers as well as informing the delegates of the two vacancies that were soon to arise on the management team. Reports were also given by the David Painter (Education), John Tellick and Peter Green (International Liaison).

The day closed with the drawing of the raffle. There were some excellent prizes on offer, which raised £277 for GEO.


Photographs from the day


Arne van Belle and Francis Bell
aligning dishes

David Taylor checks his screen presentation

Ruud Jansen demonstrating
some of his hardware

Posters and literature from EUMETSAT

Members exploring the exhibition room

Lawrence Harris gives his presentation

Many thanks to Cecilia and David Taylor, Peter Bradley and Arne van Belle for allowing us to use many of their photographs to illustrate this page.



GEO's 2nd Symposium. National Space Centre, Leicester April 30, 2005


Francis Bell opens proceedings and welcomes delegates to the second GEO Symposium.
By the time the first presentation started, every seat in the lecture room was taken and for much of the day it was standing room only.


The Speakers


Mike Grocott

David Taylor

Gordon Bridge

This year's GEO Symposium proved even better than the 2004 event with nearly 70 weather satellite enthusiasts attending. The ambitious program kept everyone busy throughout the day with an eclectic mix of lectures, workshops and short breaks for discussion. If there was one major complaint it was simply that there was not nearly enough time to satisfy everyone.

The day opened with a talk from Mike Grocott of Callington Space Centre. Although Mike's theme centred on education, the point that came through most strongly was the role of their MSG-1 groundstations in really capturing the imagination and enthusiasm of their students.

Mike was followed by EUMETSAT's Training Consultant Gordon Bridge whose illustrated talk explained how the various image channels from Meteosat-8 can be coloured and combined in meaningful ways: to distinguish snow from cloud and fog; to highlight atmospheric dust; to detect sulphurous fumes from volcanos, and much more.

The morning session continued with a presentation from David Taylor who launched the new GeoSatSignal 5 program with multi-channel RGB capabilities for Meteosat-8 data. David then continued by looking at how EUMETCast will be developed to support both HRPT image data from the existing NOAA polar orbiters this year and the METOP satellites due to be launched starting next year.

Finally, rounding off procedings before breaking for lunch, Ferdinand Valk took the stage with a short talk on the B15a iceberg. This was accompanied by some amazing movies he had created from MODIS images, clearly illustrating just how the giant iceberg had behaved throughout the previous two years.

Rob Alblas

Ed Murashie

Fred van den Bosch

The afternoon session opened with a vibrant discussion of the American weather satellite program from Ed Murashie who had come over from the States for the Symposium. Ed detailed the historical events leading up to the very first TIROS satellite then discussed the NOAA polar and geostationary programmes before rounding things off with a look to the future, when civilian and military operations will come together in the new NPOESS programme.

Rob Alblas from Werkgroep Kunstmanen was next and explained in detail how his alternative software for capturing and imaging from Meteosat-8 operates. Rob works with the LINUX operating system and had planned to demonstrate this. Alas, just days previously his LINUX box had failed on him and he had to regress to Windows instead.

The day's final presentation came from Fred van den Bosch who explained some of the organisational techiques he has evolved which allow him to run his MSG station completely automatically. In addition to Meteosat-8 images, synoptic data can also be downloaded and charts created by adding this information to satellite images; all without user intervention.

The Workshops

Rob Alblas demonstrates his
XRIT2PIC software

David Simmons installs
Tellique software from scratch

John Tellick demonstrates dish alignment
using a satellite signal meter

The RSGB GB4 FUN vehicle parked
outside the Rocket Tower

Customers in discussion with John Tellick
at the GEO Shop stand

Arne van Belle demonstrated live
Meteosat-8 reception throughout the day

Many thanks to Cecilia and David Taylor for allowing us to use many of their photographs to illustrate this page.



National Space Centre, Leicester. Saturday, May 1, 2004

"Outstanding!" - "Wow!" - "Awesome!" - "Hope we can come again next year"

As you can see from the comments above GEO's first symposium meeting was judged by those who attended to be an outstanding success. The feedback to GEO's management team from the delegates - 58 from 5 countries - was very positive. The four main elements of the day were: -

  • The chance to talk to other GEO members.

  • To be there for the outstanding lectures and presentations.

  • To see equipment and have hands-on live demonstrations of Meteosat-8 reception.

  • In any remaining spare time to visit the National Space Centre's exhibition areas.

The Speakers were:


Francis Bell
Symposium co-ordinator.


Geoff Griffiths
The amateur radio station at NSC

Chas Bishop
NSC's Chief Executive

Gordon Bridge, EUMETSAT
Meteosat 8 & Future Policy

David Taylor
Sat-Signal Software
Hardware & software for
Meteosat 8

Robert Moore
Liverpool University

Arne van Belle with
Ruud Jansen & Rob Hollander
Werkgroep Kunstmanen, NL
Demonstrating live images

Rob Hollander explaining the finer points of
QFH antenna design

How to make a QFH antenna

Hands-on experience of MSG reception

Group discussions

Thanks to David Taylor & Tom Findlay for some of the photographs used on this page.



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