Programme Management

test page e-abo



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Qui voluptates magni voluptatem voluptas est nulla exercitationem. Eos porro pariatur non deleniti debitis ut quia itaque est obcaecati ratione ut sunt voluptatem cum voluptas odio. In numquam voluptatem ut odio animi ut autem quos! In officia dolor est dolore asperiores rem quia velit sed quam quas At iure quia.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Qui voluptates magni voluptatem voluptas est nulla exercitationem. Eos porro pariatur non deleniti debitis ut quia itaque est obcaecati ratione ut sunt voluptatem cum voluptas odio. In numquam


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Qui voluptates magni voluptatem voluptas est nulla exercitationem. Eos porro pariatur non deleniti debitis ut quia itaque est obcaecati ratione ut sunt voluptatem cum voluptas odio. In numquam voluptatem ut odio animi ut autem quos! In officia dolor est dolore asperiores rem quia velit sed quam quas At iure quia.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Qui voluptates magni voluptatem voluptas est nulla exercitationem. Eos porro pariatur non deleniti debitis ut quia itaque est obcaecati ratione ut sunt voluptatem cum voluptas odio. In numquam


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Qui voluptates magni voluptatem voluptas est nulla exercitationem. Eos porro pariatur non deleniti debitis ut quia itaque est obcaecati ratione ut sunt voluptatem cum voluptas odio. In numquam voluptatem ut odio animi ut autem quos! In officia dolor est dolore asperiores rem quia velit sed quam quas At iure quia.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Qui voluptates magni voluptatem voluptas est nulla exercitationem. Eos porro pariatur non deleniti debitis ut quia itaque est obcaecati ratione ut sunt voluptatem cum voluptas odio. In numquam

More information


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.





The purpose of E-GVAP is to provide for EUMETNET members ground-based GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) Zenith Total Delay (ZTD) estimates in near real-time (NRT) for use in operational meteorology.  As ZTD is sensitive to water vapour E-GVAP provides additional water vapour information to weather models and meteorologists in Europe and beyond.  That´s important, since water vapour is a key constituent in many weather phenomena, and varies strongly in both space and time. Water vapour is “under observed”. E-GVAP is helping to fill that gap.

  • water vapour data from Navigation Satellite Systems

The tasks

The main task of E-GVAP is first of all to provide GNSS ZTD data in NRT for usage in operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and for usage by forecasters.

Secondly E-GVAP is to expand the GNSS network contributing to meteorology. Mainly as regards inclusion of new regions, but also as regards densification in regions.

Thirdly E-GVAP is to help its members using ground-based GNSS data in their operations, which is done by sharing of results and howto´s from successful users.

Also E-GVAP is to follow the development in ground-based GNSS meteorology, where several new techniques are emerging and gradually maturing, such as estimation and use of ZTD gradients, Slant Total Delays (STDs) and 3D water vapour from tomography. In the future they will lead to much more humidity information from the same number of GNSS receivers.

The requirements

 Requirements are set both with respect to timeliness and precision of the E-GVAP ZTD data.

The EUCOS QMP monitors timeliness and precision of E-GVAP data in a similar fashion to the monitoring of other EUMETNET Obs Programme data.

E-GVAP itself, as well as many of the analysis centres, performs  more detailed monitoring. Part of the E-GVAP monitoring can be seen at select entry “validation”.

Other parts require access to the E-GVAP ftp server.


The organisation

The current programme phase will last to the end of 2023. The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) has been the coordinating member since 2005. The programme itself is run in a collaboration between DMI, the UK Met Office and the Royal Dutch Meteorological Office (KNMI). The programme manager is Dr. Henrik Vedel, DMI.

The real base of the programme is a tight collaboration between geodesy and meteorology. The vast majority of the raw GNSS data used E-GVAP come from geodetic institutes and private GNSS companies. The majority of the GNSS data processing is done at geodetic institutions and universities, but also at a few met offices.  

As several members run global weather models, and there is currently no global organisation of ZTD exchange, some E-GVAP analysis centres process also global GNSS data, and E-GVAP is expanding its collaboration with analysis centres outside Europe.


More information

History & Status

GNSS meteorology explained

Review of the state of the art and future prospects of the ground-based GNSS meteorology in Europe:

(to be completed)

Participating GNSS analysis centres




OPERA is the Radar Programme of EUMETNET

The objectives of OPERA :

  • to provide a European platform wherein expertise on operationally-oriented weather radar issues is exchanged;
  • to develop, generate and distribute high-quality pan-European weather radar composite products  on an operational basis.


The key achievements of OPERA:

  • "high-quality pan-European weather radar composite products"

 OPERA has been coordinating radar data exchange in Europe for 20 years, and its data centres have been operational for almost a decade.

Main focus of this programme phase (2019-2023) is to gradually replace the data centre (Odyssey) with three production lines that will be able to serve better the disparate needs of different user groups, and to take benefit of national investment in radar upgrades 2012-2018, which have led to increased quality of incoming data.


The organisation

The current phase of OPERA will last from 2019-2023.
The Coordinating Member is the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the Project Manager is Dr. Annakaisa von Lerber.

For questions about OPERA data, please contact

More information

Tasks & Requirements

The central tasks of OPERA are:

To operate and develop a data hub, which collects radar volume data, distributes quality flagged volume data to modelers and other radar data users, and produces quality controlled radar products;
To develop the OPERA Data Information Model (ODIM) 
To enhance expertise in the field of weather radar (hardware, software, products, quality, network design etc.) within EUMETNET and the whole weather radar community;
To provide support to its members in environmental and societal issues related to weather radars, such as radar siting, radio-frequency interference and the impact of wind farms;
To offer a forum for exchange of experience and for capacity building in the field of weather radars within EUMETNET;
To inform the wider operational and research community of its activities.

The main requirements for OPERA are:

Running a data hub and gradually replacing it with new production lines
Using the data hub to make data available for members and 3rd parties
Maintaining a database of metadata of members‘ radars
Pursuing a study programme addressing new technologies , quality information, current and developing algorithms 
Defining and promoting common data exchange formats;
Distributing information to stakeholders and gaining public visibility with the EUMETNET external website 
Cooperation with WMO in the context of WIGOS for global exchange of radar knowledge

OPERA Datacentre Odyssey

Odyssey, the OPERA Data Centre, generates and archives composite products from raw single site radar data using common pre-processing and compositing algorithms.

Odyssey creates 3 composite products:
– Instantaneous Surface Rain Rate
– Instantaneous Max Reflectivity
– 1 Hour Rainfall Accumulation

Composite product description
The composites cover the whole of Europe in a Lambert Equal Area projection. They are updated every 15 minutes, and issued ca. 15 minutes after data time.

 In the  rain rate composite each composite pixel is a weighted average of the valid pixels of the contributing radars, weighted by a quality index, the distance from center of the pixel and an exponential index related to inverse of the beam altitude. Polar cells within a search radius of 2.5 km of the composite pixel are considered. Measured reflectivity values are converted to rainfall (mm/h) using the Marshall-Palmer equation. Rainfall accumulation is simply the sum of the previous four 15-minute rain-rate products. In the maximum reflectivity composite each composite pixel contains the maximum of all polar cell values of the contributing radars at that location.

Composites are available in two formats: BUFR and HDF5. Each file has two fields: the data field and the quality field.

Access to data
The members of OPERA and EUMETNET may use the composites for their official duties without a separate licence.

The OPERA products are also available under license to 3rd parties:
– For national weather services not participating in OPERA which want to use the products to support their public weather service, contact
– For a research and education licence, contact
– For a licence to exploit the products commercially, contact one of the ECOMET members contact points or send a mail.

OPERA Software

The OPERA community has developed several software packages to enable exchange of radar data from different sources and manufacturers. User support is provided to the OPERA group and other users of the OPERA BUFR software, including commercial radar software suppliers. 

OPERA BUFR software encodes and decodes radar data in BUFR format. The encoder includes a pre-processor preparing an ASCII file as input to the final processor which then writes the binary data file. BUFR table maintenance includes defining new descriptors, sequences, and tables for use with OPERA BUFR software, where relevant and applicable.

Compositing software  Within the first OPERA Programme, compositing software has been developed that is available to all OPERA members. It is portable software that runs on all commonly available computer platforms.

Two software packages have been developed for transmitting data to the operational data hub:

BUFR exchange software  in the BUFR exchange software version 3.2.

HDF5 exchange software

Software and tables to download 

links to zip files 

  • PROJ4. cartographic projection software 
  • Example files in ODIM 2.2, HDF5: ENMI and EHDB


Software documentation
Documentation of the software, in PDF files


OPERA Publications

During the years, the OPERA community has produced an impressive library of documents, recommendations and definitions. Many of the early technical documents have now more of historical value.

One of OPERAs tasks is to provide support to its members in environmental and societal issues related to weather radars, such as radar siting, radio-frequency interference and the impact of wind farms. Some of the publications are related to this task.

Selected publications of OPERA 5 (2019-2023)

      •  Best practices for calibration and monitoring 25 October 2020
      •  ODIM version 2.4 (1 July 2021 – for old versions, see software        documentation in section above)

      •  OPERA-4: On the coexistence of weather radars and wind turbines, 25 February, 2022



Selected publications of OPERA 4 (2013-2018)

Selected Deliverables of OPERA 3 (2007-2012)

OPERA Database





The main objective 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 tasks

The Programme will :

Deliver a service that ensures the operational performance targets are met within budget.
Monitor and evaluate quality of the observations such that suitably quality controlled data are delivered to the GTS.
Work with participating airlines and manage the relationship with them, conducting regular meetings with participating airlines and other service providers as needed.
Carry out the Extended Humidity Trial working closely with and in support of the E-ABO Humidity Business Case Drafting Group.
Maintain the E-ABO infrastructure and develop it as needed to fulfil the E-ABO requirements.
Work together with the WMO Aircraft-based Observing (ABO) Programme and aircraft manufacturers (e.g. Airbus) for the benefit of the service and in order to get humidity sensors and suitable software equipped on new aircraft
Use every opportunity to promote E-ABO by describing to the aviation industry the existing and potential benefits they have (and can have) of airline observations, including humidity, for improved weather products

The requirements

To provide:

Ascent/descent profiles measurements of wind and temperature at a minimum of 129 airports within the defined EUCOS Area;
3-hourly profile measurements from at least 37 selected airports within Europe (between 0600 and 2400 UTC)
En-route and profile observations from data sparse areas having an impact on short range forecasts in Europe, to be adjusted as necessary according to the results of the EUCOS design studies (routes from Europe to North Africa, South America and Canada, over Siberia and the Arctic).
Observation data from outside the EUCOS area as a contribution (min 11%) to the WMO World Weather Watch Programme
Capability for the procurement of additional aircraft data to meet specific requirements of the Members.

The programme will optimise the data collection process to maximise cost efficiency and address the need for humidity measurements as a high priority.

The organisation

The new phase of E-ABO began on 1st January 2019 and will last for five years, until 2023. The Coordinating Member is the Met Office and the Programme Manager is Mr Steve Stringer. The Technical Co-ordinator is Mr Stewart Taylor.

More information


First meteorological data from aircrafts were taken in the early beginning of aircraft era. 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, Europena National Met Services (NMHS) started developing their own individual AMDAR Programmes with their National carriers. Each NMHS was then responsible for data insertion 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 its British Airways data and so the opportunity arose to provide a single processing system for all European AMDAR data.

The European operational network was therefore established in June 2009 by the Met Office with 10 National Met Services (EUMETNET Members) agreeing to contribute and this Programme “Pilot Phase” extended to 2002.

Participating Airlines

Currently 14 airlines are participating in E-ABO, more than 1000 planes are equipped for transmitting the meteorological data.

Data & Infrastructures

What is E-AMDAR
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.

The AMDAR Observing System
The figure below provides a general depiction of the AMDAR system in which onboard sensors, computers and communications systems collect, process, format and transmit the 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.


The management team
The Management team (Operational Service Manager and Technical Co-ordinator) are both full-time employees of the Met Office that reside within the Operations and Services Directorate of the Met Office; within the Observations programme that also provides the necessary administrative support and back-up.

Global E-AMDAR data distribution





Coordinate, optimize, and progressively integrate European activities for surface observations over the sea in support of Numerical Weather Prediction and climate.

  • "Surface marine observations globally account for 3.5% of the total error reduction on Day 1 forecasts achieved by all types of observation ingested in real-time by NWP models*."

The tasks

– Surface drifter operations
– Data buoys coordination
– Automated VOS coordination and development
– Conventional VOS coordination and development
– Marine data processing
– Quality assurance
– Capacity building and knowledge transfer
– Management

The requirements

– Maintain an operational network of drifting buoys measuring air pressure and sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic, Tropical Atlantic, and Arctic, with data made available in real time onto the Global Telecommunication System of WMO, and reach a sustained network size of 150 operating units.
– Support financially and technically the moored buoys operated by programme participants or national partners.
– Support the activities of Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) through technical developments, better coordination and harmonisation of practices, and compensation of participating members for the observations and the communications related to this component.

The organisation

The Coordinating Member for this optional programme is Météo-France and its Manager is Paul Poli. Météo-France delivers the programme in partnership with KNMI.

An Expert Team is organized within the programme, bringing together international participants. Their roles include formulating recommendations, assigning priorities, tackling common issues, arbitrating between development options.

Work on data quality is supported by a dedicated web resource:


*Estimates are based on ECMWF Operations observation feedback for all observations assimilated between May 2015 and June 2016, considering the first day of each month.

More information

History & Status


The Operational Service was established during 2003 as an optional element of the EUMETNET Observation Programme (previously called EUCOS), on the basis of a detailed Operational Service proposal.

Supported by 15 countries, it had been initially defined with a period of four years divided into two stages of two years each under the responsibility of Meteo France-France. During stage 1 (2003-2004), a comprehensive design study was carried out and given to the EUMETNET Council. This study was accepted by the EUMETNET Council in September 2004. Stage 2 (2005-2006) mainly consisted in the implementation of the designed network.

In 2006, the Council renewed its confidence in Meteo France to manage the Operational Service during its next phase (2007-2011). Like other Operational Services, this phase was extended to one year (2012).

In November 2012, the EUMETNET EIG Assembly decided to continue the E-SURFMAR Operational Service for 5 years from the 1st January 2013 to the 31st December 2017, under the responsibility of Meteo-France, and the programme was extended for another year, until 31st December 2018.

In November 2018, the EUMETNET EIG Assembly decided that E-SURFMAR continues as an Optional Programme, to be delivered by Météo-France and KNMI.

Since its creation, the E-SURFMAR Operational Service has seen significant reorganisation in the management of marine observing programmes within Europe:

– the COSNA group (Composite Observing System for the North Atlantic) was disbanded in August 2003;

– a VOS Technical Advisory Group (VOS-TAG) was established in September 2003. Before its forming, no forum or organisation actually existed in Europe to co-ordinate technical and operational strategies for European voluntary observing ships;

– the European Group on Ocean Stations (EGOS) reformed as the Data Buoy Technical Advisory Group (DB-TAG) of the E-SURFMAR Operational Service in January 2005. A Data Buoy manager was appointed by the EUMETNET Council (Meteo France responsibility);

– an integrated fleet of AWS which served to develop the AWS technology and demonstrate its operational readiness.

The initial E-SURFMAR design study was driven by the main EUCOS aim: to improve the quality of numerical and general forecasts over Europe. It showed that the most suitable parameter required by regional Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) which cannot be provided by the space segment, is air pressure.
The recommendation was to increase the density of observations for this parameter as a matter of priority. It also showed that this could be achieved through the use of more drifting buoys and Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) reporting hourly data from sensitive areas: in the North Atlantic (north of 35°N) and in the Mediterranean Sea.
Some parameters measured by satellites, such as Sea Surface Temperature (SST), wind and waves, require calibration and validation. However, reliable in situ SST data are already provided by drifting buoys. So, an increase of these platforms would naturally contribute to improve the quality of satellite data calibration for SST.

For wind and waves, the E-SURFMAR design study recommended the use of four existing moored buoys which would be upgraded to provide directional wave spectra and 10-minutes wind data, and possibly being re-located in more suitable positions.

In 2017, the design was revisited, taking into account progress in satellite observation and numerical modeling capabilities, as well as more stringent requirements from the climate community, and a new sets of requirements were approved. The current programme, approved for 2019-2023 was designed to address these requirements.


A considerable amount of work was carried out during the first fifteen years of the Operational Service. Results include:

– the direct management of a network of about 100 drifting buoys and 26 Shipborne Automated Weather Stations in an integrated VOS fleet;
– full integration of the former EGOS group activities;
– a significant decrease in costs of observations carried out by automated systems operated by the Operational Service management but also by individual NMSes;
– a significant increase in the volume of observations reported by these systems;
considerable savings on data transmission costs thanks to the use of Iridium and data compression techniques as and when possible;
– improvements in the timeliness of drifting buoy data thanks to the use of Iridium instead of Argos for these platforms;
– the development and the use of a global metadata database for ships, which was adopted by the international community and then transferred under of the Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) in-situ Observations Programme Support Centre (JCOMMOPS);
– the development of a European Common Shipborne AWS (EUCAWS project);
– the establishment of financial arrangements to compensate national activities that are suitable for the Operational Service;
– co-operations, most of them informal, with third parties: MSC (Canada), Puertos des Estado (Spain), GHRSST group…;
– formal cooperation with NOAA (US);
– the set up of quality control tools available on the Web to monitor all operational surface marine observation networks in the world.

Drifting Buoys

Since mid-2007, between 90 and 105 drifting buoys fully or partially funded by E-SURFMAR were permanently operating. This number significantly decreased in 2011 due to wrong batches of buoys delivered by the two usual manufacturers. The average number of operational buoys was below 75 buoys till mid-2012.

Since, more than 100 E-SURFMAR drifting buoys are permanently operating in the EUMETNET area. In parallel, about 45 non-project buoys in average – from NOAA, Meteo-France, LOCEAN, Marlin -, are operating in the area. E-SURFMAR monitor their data as it does for those funded by the Operational Service.
Drifting buoys are deployed from different harbours thanks to local partners (e.g. Port Meteorological Officers): Charleston, Fos-sur-Mer, Halifax, Helsingborg, Kirkenes, Le Havre, Liverpool, Norfolk, Rotterdam, Reykjavik, Southampton…

The number of drifting buoys equipped with barometers is now increasing thanks to barometer upgrades in cooperation with NOAA, and the network size is expected to reach 150 units by 2020.

European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation

E-SURFMAR takes part in the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 633211 within the project AtlantOS.

AtlantOS aims to improve and innovate the Atlantic observing by using the Framework of Ocean Observing to obtain an international, more sustainable, more efficient, more integrated, and fit-for-purpose system. AltantOS is a large-scale EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation project that contributes to the Trans-Atlantic Research Alliance and GEO.

The participation of E-SURFMAR in this project is to lead the surface drifter network component. Three axes of enhancement are being explored: enhance the geographical coverage, enrich the variety of variables measured at low cost by drifters, and study whether vertical sampling of the upper ocean layer by drifters would assist in understanding and predictability. In addition, E-SURFMAR is working within this project to improve the general data access and data integration, for all categories of users of surface drifter data.

Started on 1 April 2015, the project ends in March 2019. The EU funding in AtlantOS enabled annual deployment of 13 drifters measuring currents, sea-surface temperature, and atmospheric surface pressure in the Tropical Atlantic. In addition, a prototype drifter to measure sea-surface salinity at an affordable cost was developed by partners.

The work carried out also enabled to identify a patch in the data management of delayed-mode drifter data. An architecture for a surface drifter Global Data Assembly Centre (GDAC) was developed as a result.

Moored Buoys

The operations of four moored buoys have been compensated by the Operational Service since 2007: K-pattern buoys K5, M6 and Lion and SeaWatch buoy Cabo Sillero. The first three are operated by Met Office, Met Eireann – in association with MRI – and Meteo France, respectively. The last one is operated by Puertos del Estado. These buoys were chosen for their theoretical ability to perform accurate wind and wave measurements (spectra). During a long time, Cabo Silleiro was the only buoy to provide directional wave spectra and Lion buoy was only providing omnidirectional spectra. Since mid-2008 and October 2013 respectively, K5 and Lion moored buoys have also been reporting directional wave spectra. M6 does not measure this parameter yet.

In general, the current quality of moored buoy data is among the best we can get from surface marine stations. For instance, the RMS of air pressure differences with model outputs was 0.7 hPa in 2013 for the 4 moored buoys (against 0.6 hPa for drifting buoys, 0.7 hPa for S-AWS and 1.3 hPa for conventional VOS). For wind data, the RMS of differences with model outputs was 2.6 m/s in 2013 (against 3.9 m/s for S-AWS and 4.5 m/s for conventional VOS).

These four buoys are part of national networks which are also monitored by the Operational Service. The aim is here to get, in real time, as many quality observations as possible.

Besides moored buoy networks operated by E-SURFMAR participating members or historical partners (Puertos del Estado and MRI), other networks exists.

The Operational Service seeks for cooperation with the institutes which operate these networks and their closest NMS in order to have their data fed into the GTS in real time. Thus, the Greek Poseidon network, the Portuguese moored buoy network, and moored buoys operated by BSH (Germany), have been fed into the GTS and carefully monitored. The close cooperation between E-SURFMAR and these institutes also allowed to improve the measurements carried out by these buoys which now are close to reach WMO standards.

Observing Ships

In 2013, each month about 370 European conventional VOS reported 270 observations per day in average from the EUMETNET area of interest. This is 20% less observations than in 2002 (for 30% less ships), before E-SURFMAR started, and this number has since decreased to under 200. However, during the same period, each month about 125 European S-AWS reported 1,700 observations per day from the EUMETNET area. This is 5 times more than in 2002. As of end 2018, there are over 150 European S-AWS units in operation, reporting on average over 2,000 observations per day in the EUMETNET area.

For different reasons, the data delivery delay of conventional VOS data remains longer than for S-AWS.

Early in the Operational Service, it was noted that the quality of pressure values reported by conventional VOS was below that of automated systems. The most common errors are due to a wrong correction of the height of the barometer above the waterline. Despite the set up of daily updated blacklist, the situation did not change much during the past years.

The S-AWS integrated fleet of VOS was an opportunity to try out various technologies. By the end of 2013, 10 BaTos and 18 BaRos AWS funded by the Operational Service were in operation (E-SURFMAR S-AWS fleet). The BaRos is normally a simple (autonomous) system reporting air pressure only (see picture here below). Moreover, three systems out of the 18 have been upgraded in BaRos+ AWS by Meteo France (air temperature, air humidity and wind measurements added). In 2013, several installations were done thanks to MOON members on ships plying in the Mediterranean Sea. This fleet served to demonstrate that the maintenance of a S-AWS network is not an easy job. Ships are often changing their programmes and may be sold or de-constructed without any lead time.

The procurement and development of a common solution S-AWS (EUCAWS) was started in 2013. After several prototypes, first series were ordered by several programme participants. As of 2019, over 30 operational EUCAWS units are reported data on the GTS, from ships recruited by several NMSes.

The development of an electronic logbook solution by KNMI was recognized as important early on, to improve data quality and quantity from conventional VOS. This has resulted in the development of several software packages: Turbowin, Turbowin+, Turboweb.

This development benefits from a new wind effective in 2019, with KNMI on the delivery side of the programme for the items that pertain the conventional VOS.

Metadata, monitoring & performance assessments

An online database was developed within the first years of the Operational Service to manage VOS metadata (WMO Pub47 format). It contains all VOS metadata available in the world (permanently updated), and is now operated by JCOMMOPS. With the announced transition to WIGOS, the programme participants have developped a new metadata standard, in collaboration with international partners, widening the scope to all ship-based observations (and not only VOS).

A set of quality control tools was developed by Meteo France to monitor E-SURFMAR observation networks. Mainly based on comparisons with model outputs, they may be actually used to monitor any surface marine observation platform in the world reporting onto the GTS.

Every month, the performances of the networks in matter of data availability, timeliness and quality, are assessed and compared to previous months and targets.





The objective of the EUMETNET-ASAP (E-ASAP) Operational Service is to:

coordinate and optimize weather balloon observations (so called radiosoundings) over the data sparse ocean regions in the EUCOS area of interest. Most of these observations are performed by the crew members on board merchant vessels in regular service between Europe and North America.

  • "Coordination and optimisation of weather balloon observations over the ocean regions"

The tasks

– to design the E-ASAP Operational Service to meet the requirements, and in particular identify suitable merchant ships;

– to negotiate and conclude contracts in association with NMSs as appropriate with the shipping companies;

– to procure the necessary equipment or reimburse NMSs for the procurements;

– to ensure proper installation, training and logistics for the supply of consumables;

– to establish means of communication, insertion on the GTS and monitoring of performance;

– to liaise with the other components of the EUCOS programme and with the ASAP Task Team of the WMO.

The requirements

A. To deliver 3900 radiosoundings (from 18 stations) onto the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and to make the data available to all National Meteorological Services (NMSs) for their weather forecast.

B. To optimize the overall system regarding efficiency of sounding operations and distribution of sounding data.

C. To contribute to the World Weather Watch of WMO through a limited number of soundings produced outside the EUCOS area of interest.

The organisation

The current Programme phase will last until the end of 2023. The Deutscher Wetterdienst has been the Coordinating Member for the Operational E-ASAP since 2003. The Operational Service Manager is Mr Rudolf Krockauer.


Article published in the December 2009 issue of the periodical Seaways. Purpose of the Article is to promote E-ASAP in the seafarer’s community. Read the article.