Dieter Klaes: Remote sensing of weather, climate, and environment

An Optics + Photonics 2018 Plenary Presentation Recording

02 October 2018

K. Dieter Klaes, EUMETSAT (Germany)After a summer of extreme heat, forest fires, and melting Arctic ice, the European meterological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, is considering adding the capability to track greenhouse gases, says K. Dieter Klaes in this plenary session.

K. Dieter Klaes, deputy head of the organization's remote sensing and products division in Darmstadt, Germany, points out that EUMETSAT has a secure future: "We are assuring continuity," he says, "and that is remarkable."

Klaes addresses the current and future geostationary Meteosat and polar EPS/Metop meteorological programmes, as well the optional programmes such as Jason and the third-party services with data and products from partner agencies. He also addresses contributions to the European Union's Copernicus Programme.

Altogether, EUMETSAT has a total of 10 satellites under its responsibility. And with a project lifetime of 7.5 years per satellite a long-term perspective is critical.

Showcasing the kind of imagery that is now collected on a regular basis, Klaes plays a video of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano ash cloud following its eruption in Iceland in May 2010. The event grounded more than 100,000 flights in European airspace, leaving millions stranded. He also shows imagery from forest fires in Greece in 2007, which he says is still under study by many research organizations, along with ozone monitoring and profiles.

Klaes notes that EUMETSAT satellites accurately predicted several hurricanes in 2017, preventing damage to property and loss of life. How important is that satellite imagery? Klaes answers that by showing hurricane forecasts made with and without the benefit of satellite data: "In the forecast without the satellites," he said, "there is no hurricane."

Sea surface temperatures via Copernicus
Sea surface temperatures via Copernicus

K. Dieter Klaes received a diploma degree in Meteorology from the University of Bonn, Germany in 1983 and a PhD in Physics from the University Paris 7, France, in 1994. As a forecaster at the German Military Geophysical Office, he led the development of the Satellite Data Processing System.

Since 1992, has been with EUMETSAT, initially coordinating the development of the ATOVS and AVHRR Processing Package, and the applications in EPS (EUMETSAT Polar System) Programme. In 1999, he was made an EPS Programme Scientist and is since 2013, has been the Deputy Head of the Remote Sensing and Products Division in EUMETSAT.

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