ROM SAF. Credit: alesta/AdobeStock

Updates to Radio Occultation BUFR products


ROM SAF. Credit: alesta/AdobeStock
ROM SAF. Credit: alesta/AdobeStock

RO BUFR products from EUMETSAT and the ROM SAF will be updated in December 2023 for the Spire commercial RO products, and in the first quarter of 2024 for the Metop GRAS products.

Last Updated

23 November 2023

Published on

07 November 2023

With the increasing number of satellites performing radio occultation observations from the commercial sector, BUFR products containing radio occultation data require a technical update to encode the observing satellite’s ID correctly. To facilitate the identification of individual satellites in large constellations, WMO introduced a new descriptor (0 01 016) containing the satellite sub-identifier with BUFR Master Table Version 39. In individual BUFR messages, the new descriptor is inserted immediately before each occultation’s RO profile data.

EUMETSAT and the ROM SAF will update their RO BUFR products to include the new descriptor for all RO missions where the satellite ID does not uniquely identify the observing satellite, beginning with their commercial RO products from Spire. Accordingly, BUFR products generated by both centres will require WMO Master Table Version 39 for decoding.

In addition to the use of the new subSatelliteId descriptor, the timeSignificance descriptor (0 08 021) will change from 17 (“beginning of the occultation”) to 25 (“reference time of the occultation”) for all RO BUFR products to align time stamping in EUMETSAT and ROM SAF BUFR products.

The Spire commercial Radio Occultation data update at EUMETSAT and the ROM SAF is planned for 11 December 2023. Corresponding updates to BUFR products from the Metop GRAS instruments will be introduced with the next major update of the GRAS processing in Q1/2024.

In the meantime, test data (from 5 November) for the updated Spire data are available:

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