Our primary dissemination mechanism for the near real-time delivery of satellite data and products
EUMETCast multicast service transports a stream of near real-time data to user reception stations within a guaranteed timeliness.
06 September 2021
05 May 2020
The multicast stream is transmitted to the user via satellite networks EUMETCast Satellite (EUMETCast Europe and EUMETCast Africa) or terrestrial networks, EUMETCast Terrestrial. A single user reception station can receive the full complement of data collections provided on EUMETCast, which depending upon the EUMETCast service selected, currently exceeds 350 collections daily.
How EUMETCast works
The EUMETCast system is based upon a client/server system with the server side implemented at EUMETSAT headquarters and the client side installed on the individual EUMETCast user reception stations. Files are encoded into a multicast stream at the EUMETCast platform, this stream is then transported to the user via two main networks: EUMETCast Satellite and EUMETCast Terrestrial.
The multicast is transferred via a dedicated communications line from EUMETSAT to the uplink facility. There the multicast is encoded into a DVB signal and transmitted to a geostationary telecommunications satellite for broadcast to user receiving stations. The technology is similar to receiving satellite TV. Each receiving station decodes the signal and recreates the original multicast stream.
The multicast is transferred via a multicast-enabled dedicated network to the user. Users must be eligible to connect to the national research networks and the research network must be included in the EUMETCast Terrestrial network.
The EUMETCast Client reception stations equipped with the EUMETCast Client Software package decode the multicast back into files according to the subscription of the user.
To manage the data flows on EUMETCast we use service directories as part of the multicast system platform. A distribution list is associated with each service directory, this identifies all the EUMETCast users entitled to receive the data transferred to a particular directory.
Is EUMETCast available in my region?
The EUMETCast Satellite service is available to users in Europe and Africa. To access the service users need to set up a reception station within the footprint of the telecommunication satellites.
The EUMETCast Terrestrial service is primarily available to users with access to a National Research and Education Network (NREN) that support multicasting and the GÉANT infrastructure. Exceptionally, the Terrestrial service is available via commercial internet. If your only option is to receive the service via commercial internet, please contact the User Service Helpdesk to discuss eligibility.
What data can I receive via EUMETCast?
EUMETCast is a one-stop-shop data dissemination mechanism which allows users to receive many data streams via one reception station. It provides space-based observations from the Meteosat, Metop and Copernicus Sentinel satellites. At their most frequent, these data are delivered to users within five minutes of processing. In addition, a wide range of third-party meteorological and environmental products are available on EUMETCast.
The EUMETCast Europe service provides a broad range of data aimed primarily at the needs of European weather services and environmental data users. Whilst the EUMETCast Africa service provides a specific range of data to meet the needs of African weather services and environmental data users.
EUMETCast Terrestrial provides the full complement of all near real-time data (all data collections from EUMETCast Europe and EUMETCast Africa).
The dissemination of new data flows to users usually involves two main steps:
- Trial dissemination:
This consists of the distribution on EUMETCast of new (or changed) products to trial users who are, typically, the NMHS of EUMETSAT’s member states and registered manufacturers of reception station equipment. A trial dissemination usually lasts a few weeks - allowing for confirmation that the data are flowing as they should (e.g. in terms of completeness and timeliness) and that they are properly monitored. It is the step before the start of full dissemination.
- Full dissemination:
A full dissemination involves opening up the access to new (or changed) products, via EUMETCast, to the wider user community. This includes making the products available for registration in our Earth Observation Portal and allowing their discovery in our Product Navigator.
What equipment do I need to receive EUMETCast?
EUMETCast uses off-the-shelf, commercially available, DVB-S2 reception devices and standard PC equipment. The cost of EUMETCast reception stations is kept to a minimum by using industry open standards to the maximum extent possible, resulting in an adaptable front-end solution to users' applications.
A typical EUMETCast reception station comprises a standard PC, a DVB reception device (internal or external), and a satellite off-set antenna fitted with a digital universal V/H LNB for EUMETCast Europe, or fitted with a circular polarisation feedhorn, bandpass filter and special LNB for EUMETCast Satellite. A EUMETCast Terrestrial reception station requires the same DVB device but without the need for the front-end antenna equipment.
To decode and decrypt the EUMETCast data stream, EUMETCast Client Software and EUMETCast Key Unit (EKU), the EUMETCast Client Software Package, are also required. These are provided free of charge by EUMETSAT and can be requested as part of the EUMETCast registration process.
Before embarking on buying reception equipment, we recommend you read our section on station set-up and recommended equipment in our knowledge base. We also provide a list of known manufacturers who are experienced in reception system set-up and maintenance. For full details on all EUMETCast service set ups please read TD 15: EUMETCast — Broadcast System for Environmental Data.
How can I subscribe to EUMETCast and its data streams?
To subscribe to data via EUMETCast as a new user, you first need to create an account with EUMETSAT, via our Earth Observation Portal. Once you have your account created, and in doing so you have acknowledged applicable licensing terms and conditions, you can follow the links in the portal to EUMETCast Europe, EUMETCast Africa or EUMETCast Terrestrial. Follow the registration steps to request the EUMETCast Client Software Package and to subscribe to the data streams you would like to receive.
User community support
There are several user groups within Europe whose members are utilising the services on EUMETCast. Find out more from them at: https://groups.io/g/MSG-1.
If you have any questions on EUMETCast, contact our User Service Helpdesk.