The Regional Data service is provided by the EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service (EARS), which comprises of a network of Advanced High Resolution Picture Transmission (AHRPT) reception stations. Metop and NOAA satellite data are acquired locally by a network of AHRPT stations, located within the North Atlantic, Europe and Indian Ocean regions. These data are then, typically, processed by local processing nodes before being relayed to EUMETSAT for onward distribution to the user, either via EUMETCast or the Global Telecommunication System (GTS).
The purpose of the regional service is to provide the European meteorological community with sounder, imager and scatterometer data, covering data-sparse areas, within 30 minutes of the instrument observations. The improved timeliness of regional data assists in earlier forecasting. A full list of EARS products can be found on the Product Navigator.
EARS comprises of three separate polar satellite instrument data services:
EARS-ATOVS provides the European meteorological community with sounder data covering, data-sparse areas, within 30 minutes of the instrument observations.
Sounder data is produced by a set of the instruments known as ATOVS, Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounders. This set, comprising the Advanced Microwave Sounding Units A and B (AMSU-A and AMSU-B) — complemented by the High Resolution Infra-red Sounder (HIRS/3) instruments — is used to obtain information about the vertical profiles of temperature and humidity in the atmosphere. The radiation measurements from the ATOVS instruments can be assimilated directly in numerical atmospheric models, using advanced techniques developed for operational use over the last decade. This vertical profile information is vital to the performance of all numerical forecasting model systems.
AMSU-A, AMSU-B, MHS and HIRS instrument data are collected from the satellite passes in their original resolution. Cloud information derived from the AVHRR data is mapped onto the HIRS/3 instrument grid. The original AVHRR instrument data with a higher spatial resolution is not retransmitted as part of the EARS-ATOVS. The data are then processed using the local processing package ATOVS and AVHRR Processing Package (AAPP), produced by the Numerical Weather Prediction Satellite Application Facility (NWP SAF). During this process, the data is converted to level 1 products.
The EARS-AVHRR collects AVHRR instrument data from the Primary Morning Orbit and Primary Afternoon Orbit satellites, via a network of AHRPT/HRPT stations, and retransmits it via EUMETCast. The current satellites providing AVHRR data are Metop, NOAA 17 and NOAA 19.
The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is a multi-purpose imaging instrument used for the global monitoring of cloud cover, sea surface temperature, ice, snow and vegetation characteristics. Unlike EARS-ATOVS the EARS-AVHRR data remains an unprocessed level 0 product when retransmitted.
The EARS-ASCAT collects ASCAT instrument data from Metop satellites passes via a network of HRPT stations and retransmits Level 2 products.
The prime objective of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) instrument is to measure wind speed and direction over the oceans.
The EARS-IASI collects IASI instrument data from Metop satellite-passes via a network of HRPT stations and retransmits Level 1c products via EUMETCast and the GTS.
The primary objective of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instrument measurements is to provide an atmospheric emission spectra to derive temperature and humidity profiles with high vertical resolution and accuracy. Additionally, it is used for the determination of trace gases such as ozone, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane, as well as land- and sea surface temperature and emissivity and cloud properties.