New Fire Radiative Power algorithm implemented for Copernicus Sentinel-3 data

Rising to the challenge of remote working, teams within EUMETSAT were able to successfully implement a new and improved Near-Real Time (NRT) Fire Radiative Power (FRP) product from Copernicus Sentinel-3.

Thursday, 16 April 2020


A great example of internal coordination and effective communication during these unsettled times, the NRT FRP product is the first Copernicus Sentinel-3 atmospheric product for which EUMETSAT is fully responsible for its implementation into operations.

The NRT FRP data, will be available via EUMETCast (EUMETSAT’s primary NRT dissemination system), through the CODA portal (Copernicus Online Data Access) and the EUMETSAT Data Centre from the 21st of April. The METIS-FRP browser provides near-real time plots on the FRP product. Fires and their resulting smoke are a major source of air pollution, releasing aerosols and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere that can travel for hundreds to thousands of kilometres (as illustrated by the fires in the Western Balkans in figure 1). These pollutants can be hazardous to health and so it is important to have accurate NRT data available in order for users to forecast the air quality situation in the days ahead.

One of the key users of this product are the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), who are responsible for tracking the intensity and emissions of wildfires around the world. EUMETSAT and CAMS have a long-standing cooperation, with EUMETSAT having developed an operational Copernicus data stream to CAMS and providing its satellite data and products in order for them to provide accurate and timely air-quality forecasts across the globe.

CAMS will assimilate the Sentinel-3 NRT FRP product, as illustrated in figures 2 and 3, into their own air quality-forecasting model, the data from which gets broadcast via Euronews and CNN International, in order to clearly show society at large how air quality might impact people’s day-to-day lives, so that they can make decisions on their exposure to pollution more easily.


Figure 2: This image displays the Fire Radiative Power for the same area as in fig. 1, where all of the "hot spots" are clearly visible.


Figure 3: This image illustrates the daily Sentinel-3 NRT FRP product (10 April 2020 from METIS-FRP.

For more on how EUMETSAT and CAMS work together, listen to our recent podcast with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts’ (ECMWF) Senior Scientist, Mark Parrington, as he discusses the use of satellites, such as the Copernicus Sentinel satellites in monitoring wildfires across the globe and delivering data on the environments affected by fires click here.

EUMETSAT is now responsible for the generation and quality of the Sentinel-3 NRT FRP product, as well as its long-term validation and improvements, acting on behalf of the European Commission (EC). The team responsible for the implementation did a fantastic job in achieving this challenging objective given the current COVID-19 situation, and the timing is particularly important as it becomes available for the start of the ‘fire season’, which in Europe typically begins in May.

In addition, the operational readiness of this product also plays an important role in the activities of European civil defence and emergencLinky response activities.


About Sentinel-3 NRT FRP

Access to Sentinel-3 FRP data will be available at the following sites from 21st of April 2020:

About Copernicus

Copernicus is the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, looking at our planet and its environment for the ultimate benefit of all European citizens. The programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission. It is implemented in partnership with Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan.


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States. EUMETSAT operates the geostationary (Meteosat) satellites and Polar (Metop) satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high-precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason satellites). EUMETSAT has been entrusted by the European Commission to exploit the four Sentinel missions of the Copernicus space component dedicated to the monitoring of atmosphere, ocean and climate. EUMETSAT will carry out these tasks in cooperation with ESA.

More about EUMETSAT’s role in Copernicus

About the ECMWF

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 Member and Cooperating States. ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. This data is fully available to the national meteorological services in the Member States. The centre also offers a catalogue of forecast data that can be purchased by businesses worldwide and other commercial customers. ECMWF has been entrusted by the European Commission to operate Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Copernicus Climate Change Monitoring (C3S) Service.

More about ECMWF’s role in Copernicus: CAMS | C3S

We use essential cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. To analyse website traffic we also use third-party performance cookies. If you are ok with the use of essential as well as non-essential cookies, please select Accept & Continue. Instructions on how to prevent the use of non-essential cookies are available under our Terms Of Use, or simply select Decline Cookies.