The main aim of the EUMETNET-ABO (Aircraft Based Observations) Operational Service is to fulfil the requirements of the EUCOS Operational Programme for measurements of high quality upper air meteorological variables from aircraft.

  • "measuring high quality upper air meteorological variables from aircraft"


The continued, sustainable access to high quality upper air observations of temperature, wind speed and direction (and humidity where possible) from commercial aircraft.

Improved uniformity of coverage of airports providing 3-hourly profile observations across the EUCOS domain.

Ensuring the monitoring and reporting of individual network performance to enable the effective combination of the different data sources into one, efficient observing network.

Implementing new capabilities to enable more aircraft based observations to be produced within a reduced data budget.

Continuously seeking to introduce efficiencies via targeted use of cost-effective data sources or transmission methods.

Deliver quality-controlled aircraft-derived data from Mode-S EHS/ADS-B via the EMADDC operated as a service to the EUMETNET community by KNMI.

Flexibility to facilitate the provision of additional data required by individual NMHSs.


The current 5-year phase of the E-ABO programme began on 1st January 2024 with the Met Office as the Coordinating Member, working in partnership with KNMI and DWD. KNMI operate the EMADDC for the provision of aircraft derived data from ADS-B/MODE-S EHS data and DWD manage the AMDAR data optimisation and humidity contracts. 

Programme Manager: Martyn Sunter, Met Office

Technical Coordinator:  David Snook, Met Office

More information

Data & Infrastructures

E-AMDAR is EUMETNETs contribution to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) observing system. E-AMDAR facilitates the fully automated collection and transmission of weather observations from commercial aircraft. The E-AMDAR programme is an integrated component of the WMO Global Observing System (GOS) of the World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme . The system is operated by EUMETNET Member NMHS in collaboration and cooperation with partner airlines. Onboard sensors, computers and communications systems collect, process, format and transmit the weather data to ground stations via satellite and VHF radio links. The transmission of this data is most often performed by the aircraft’s ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) system. Once on the ground, the data is then relayed to the global network of national meteorological services and other authorised users.


Modern aircraft carry sensors to measure the Mach number (using a pitot static probe) and air temperature. An enhanced surveillance (EHS) air traffic control radar interrogates all aircraft in sight in a selective mode (Mode-S), on which the aircraft replies with a message containing, for example, magnetic heading, airspeed and Mach number. These messages can be collected by Air Traffic Control or by a network of local receivers. The EMADDC use these messages to derive tens of millions of wind and air temperature observations in Europe.  


Additional aircraft based observations are received from AIREPS and ADS-C messages. Third-party data known as TAMDAR and AFIRS AMDAR complement the other networks.



The first meteorological data from aircraft were collected in the early 1900s. Following development of the concept for transmitting aircraft temperature and wind information to the ground in real-time by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in the 1980’s, European National Met Services (NMHS) started developing their own Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) Programmes with their national airlines. Each NMHS was then responsible for providing this data to the GTS.

Initial airlines and start dates:

KLM (1993)
Air France (1995)
British Airways (1998)
SAS (1998)
Lufthansa (1999)

Met Office (UK) developed an automated data processing system to handle British Airways data and so the opportunity arose to provide a single processing system for all European AMDAR data.

There are now 15 airlines participating in the E-ABO AMDAR programme and more than 1000 planes providing meteorological data.

Wind and temperature observations derived from ADS-B/MODE-S EHS messages has enhanced the coverage of aircraft based observations over Europe in recent years and is now centralised through the creation of the European Meteorological Derived Data Centre (EMADDC).