Availability and use of satellite data and products

Satellite systems generate large and further increasing amounts of advanced measurements, but it remains a major challenge to ensure that improved data and products are actually available, and can be utilized by meteorological services and other users worldwide.

One of the components of the WMO Space Programme is thus to improve the utilization of the space-based capabilities of the Global Observing System (GOS) with emphasis on utilization of satellite data and services in developing countries.

WMO has promoted community standards that are used for processing and dissemination of satellite data, such as HRIT/LRIT, HRPT/LRPT, BUFR, GRIB, netCDF and others. Observational data acquired by satellite instruments are processed up to different “levels” before distribution to the users. The result of processing is a product. Provided that the data are accurately calibrated and geo-located, quantitative derived products provide measurements of geophysical characteristics of the atmosphere or the globe's surface. Derived products are extensively used either in a qualitative way or in a quantitative way, in meteorological and environmental applications, namely for assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction models and climate monitoring.

WMO has collected links to open source and COTS software for processing and visualizing satellite data.

The Product Access Guide gives direct links to an array of different satellite products. 

Through the WMO satellite data dissemination strategy, developed to address the Integrated Satellite Data Dissemination Service (IGDDS), WMO promotes efficient and timely satellite data distribution meeting user needs and using the WIS infrastructure. The 11 elements of this strategy are: 

WMO promotes initiatives to ensure sustained and coordinated processing of environmental satellite data for climate monitoring (SCOPE-CM) and nowcasting applications (SCOPE-Nowcasting).