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Meteorological Satellites

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to establish a European meteorological satellite system for defence purposes together with a network of mobile ground stations.

None. Existing weather satellites are fully utilised for defence purposes, as are more conventional observational systems. These arrangements are kept under continuous review by the NATO military committee meteorological group, of which the United Kingdom is a member.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will propose the formation of an organisation by the European meteorological services or institutes to start the operational phase of a European meteorological satellite system Eurometsat similar to the Eutelsat of the European postal authorities.

The European geostationary satellite Meteosat I—is at present operated as a research system. Should the system prove to be cost-effective in competition with conventional ground-based systems, a continuing operational programme will be contemplated. Meteosat II is currently being discussed by the appropriate European institutions, and it is possible that it will function as an operational system. The United Kingdom is keeping in close touch with developments.