Central Facility

The Central Facility is responsible for the generation of level 1 processed satellite data and the generation of higher level 2 products.

The Central Facility is based at the EUMETSAT headquarters in Germany.

The Product Navigator has a full list of products, which primarily support the application needs for Nowcasting and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP).

Level 1 Satellite Data

Raw sensor data are received from the ground stations and forwarded to dedicated processing facilities within the Central Facility. These facilities generate the level 1 data and products.

In the case of Meteosat image processing, line-by-line processing ensures that imperfections are removed during the generation of the level 1.5 satellite data. In particular, the data from the various on-board sensors are realigned by resampling, in order to make the image from each set of detectors coincide with the other images.

At the same time, the sampling removes the slight perturbations caused by the movement of the spacecraft, rectifying the image so it appears to come from the nominal location of the spacecraft (geometric correction). Adjustments to the individual data values are made according to calibration information. Once each line of the level 1.5 products is complete it is passed to the dissemination computers for immediate relay to users and to higher processing facilities within the Central Facility and the SAFs.

Level 2 processed products

In the case of Meteosat processing, the facility receives near-real-time level 1.5 data from the image processing system, which has performed a geometrical correction and removed imperfections in the images. A radiative transfer model is applied to compute expected radiances at the top of the atmosphere, as well as atmospheric correction tables.

Scenes analysis provides information on the surface type in each cloud-free image pixel. This output is then presented to the various meteorological product applications as a classified pixel map and segmented clustered scenes. Meteorological products are then generated.

In addition to the EUMETSAT satellite data, input from sources external to EUMETSAT is required for the processing and verification of some products. Independent meteorological observations are used to verify a subset of the products, and verification results are stored with the products.

Product Validation

Products generated within the Central Facility are subject to a validation processes to ensure the correct quality of product has been reached. All products need to meet validation criteria before an 'operational' product validation status can be applied. Corresponding validation reports are made available at the time of the product release.

Archiving Data and Products

All data and products generated within the Central Facility are archived in the EUMETSAT Data Centre and can be retrieved, on demand, by users.