The satellite meteorology centre
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The Satellite Meteorology Centre. The Satellite Meteorology Centre (Centre de Météorologie “Spatiale” : CMS) is established at Lannion in the Côtes d'Armor area. Created in 1963 at the dawn of satellite meteorology, it was initially an experimental and development unit.

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The Satellite Meteorology Centre

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The satellite meteorology centre

The Satellite Meteorology Centre

  • The Satellite Meteorology Centre (Centre de Météorologie “Spatiale” : CMS) is established at Lannion in the Côtes d'Armor area.

  • Created in 1963 at the dawn of satellite meteorology, it was initially an experimental and development unit.

  • Although research and development are still a major part of its activity, the CMS is now an operational centre within the Production Department of Météo-France (the French meteorological service). The CMS has a staff of 80 people.

Its main missions

Its main missions

  • Acquire, process, archive satellite data and disseminate products in real time in compliance with operational user requirements.

  • Design and develop satellite processing algorithms and software. The CMS prepares the applications that enable Météo-France to benefit from current and future space observation instruments.

  • Implement the production systems, hardware and software that are necessary for its operation and ensure the operational availability of these systems.

  • The CMS applies its expertise to its areas of excellence. It provides training, assistance and supplies imagery products extracted from the archive for scientific, institutional or commercial purposes.

Station infrastructures 1 antennas and satellites

Station infrastructures - 1 - Antennas and satellites


  • 2 recent antennas to acquire primary NOAA satellites and METOP, One older dedicated to NOAA15.

  • 3 antennas able to acquire geostationnary satellites.

  • EUMETCast antennas (KU and C band)

    The satellites acquired

  • NOAA15, NOAA17, NOAA18 and METOP

  • GOES-East by direct reception from the satellite itself.

  • MSG, METEOSAT-07, METOP (global data), EARS data by EUMETCast

  • GOES-West, MTSAT-1R, KALPANA by telecom links.

Station infrastructures 2 s w tools and use of data

Station infrastructures - 2 - S/W tools and Use of data

The main role of the CMS is to meet the requirements of weather forecasting (nowcasting, synoptic forecasting and numerical modeling), observation of the ocean surface and support to weather satellite operators. CMS has developped its own S/W tools to acquire and process the data, except for METOP acquisition, for which CMS was provided by a MEOS station from KONGSBERG. Main CMS applications are :

  • preprocessing of satellite data, particularly the supply of software that can preprocess data from polar orbiting satellites,

  • radiative transfer and the processing of data from IR and microwave sounders,

  • multispectral processing of visible and infrared images, and the recognition and classification of clouds from this data,

  • algorithms for computing surface parameters (surface temperature of the ocean or earth, incident radiative flux) from visible and infrared data,

  • meteorological interpretation of satellite images,

     For French users, more than 400 different products are processed.

Station infrastructures 3 use of data international commitments

Station infrastructures - 3 - Use of data : international commitments

  • The CMS conducts operational or development activities on an international level, particularly within the context of the Satellite Application Facilities (SAF) of the European EUMETSAT organization in co-operation with various European meteorological services. It is the prime contractor of the Ocean and Sea Ice SAF, contributes to the Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting SAF, and to the Numerical Weather Prediction SAF.

  • Since the 1977 launch of the first European Meteosat satellite by the European Space Agency, the CMS has relayed data from the American satellite GOES to the Meteosat satellite. This activity continued after the creation of EUMETSAT then developed and regularly modernized to become the Foreign Satellite Data Service (FSDS) integrated within the ground segment of the Meteosat Second Generation program.

  • The CMS has provided the intercalibration of the operational geostationary satellites since 1983 within the framework of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP).

  • And EARS…

Day to day operations 1

Day-to-day operations - 1

  • Operations : 8 operators and 2 chief-operators for 24/7 activities (monitoring, users information, 1st level maintenance)

  • Operational availability of HRPT reception : the conflicts of reception are managed and CMS theoretically acquires and processes 100 % of the passes concerning Lannion acquisition zone (NOAA17, NOAA18, METOP). The reception of NOAA15 is on a “best effort” basis.

  • Planning and Anomaly Reports are sent to EUMETSAT by email.

Day to day operations 2

CMS telecom room

Day-to-day operations - 2

Day to day operations 3 system redundancy

Day-to-day operations - 3 - system redundancy

Experience 1

Experience – 1

  • The new MetOp receiving station was very liable.

  • EUMETSAT and CMS has performed the validation phase for inclusion of MetOp from 4 April to 24 May 2007 : the results of this phase are fine. Only two passes were not acquired, because a problem bound with IP address and the corresponding license on MEOS system. This problem has been solved.

  • An issue about the format of the SKU files formats is still open.

  • A test of data encryption/decryption would be necessary.

Experience 2

Experience – 2

  • Particular experience using NOAA and MetOp satellites : CMS provides many products to users from the data : IR and VIS images, multispectral products, microwaves images , recognition and classification of clouds, Sea Surface Temperature . ATOVS data from EARS are used by METEO-FRANCE for Numerical Weather Prediction.

    Using METOP global data, CMS products images on French overseas Territories. A global SST is also planned for SAFO&SI this year.

  • Plans for other satellites/antennas :

    • Current test concerning transfers of ATOVS data from La Reunion (Indian Ocean). Evaluation of interest to set up HRPT stations in other overseas Territories (French West Indies, French Guyana, French Polynesia, New Caledonia).

      • Evaluation of mutual interest of METEO-FRANCE and EUMETSAT to receive at CMS : Aqua or Terra (for MODIS data for instance), NPP, FY3 ?

  • Image metop multispectral on la reunion

    image METOP (multispectral) on La Reunion

    Image metop clouds classification on french polynesia

    Image METOP – Clouds classification on French Polynesia

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