Atmospheric Composition Monitoring

The AC SAF processes data on ozone, other trace gases, aerosols and ultraviolet data, obtained from satellite instrumentation.

SAF Official Service Name

EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Atmospheric Composition and Monitoring (AC SAF)

SAF on Atmospheric Composition Monitoring

SAF Objectives

The AC SAF develops, produces, archives, validates and disseminates ozone and atmospheric chemistry products, to support the services of the EUMETSAT Member States in weather forecasting, as well as monitoring of ozone depletion, air quality and surface UV radiation.

In addition, these products contribute to the implementation of the EUMETSAT strategy in environmental monitoring of the atmosphere. This is achieved at the European level by contributing to the Copernicus activities, and in the global scale by implementing the global observations of the key atmospheric parameters, as recommended by the Integrated Global Atmospheric Chemistry Observations Theme (IGACO) within the IGOS framework.

SAF Leader and Consortium

Leading Entity
Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Finland

SAF Phases

Development Phase: June 1997–June 2002
Extended Development Phase: June 2002–February 2007
Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2007–February 2012
Second Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2012–February 2017
Third Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2017–February 2022

SAF input satellite data

The following satellite data sources are/will be used to generate AC SAF products:

  • Metop (GOME-2, AVHRR, IASI)
  • Metop-SG (IASI-NG)
  • MTG-S (UVN and IRS)

SAF products

The products provided by the AC SAF are parameters of the atmospheric trace gases, aerosols and radiation. They are produced either in near real-time (NRT, three hours from sensing) or offline (15 days from sensing) and are reprocessed regularly. See the Product Navigator for detailed information on the AC SAF products.

The AC SAF also provides some climatological datasets.

The GOME-2 instrument aboard EUMETSAT's polar-orbiting Metop-A satellite is also used to monitor sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels from volcanic eruptions across the globe. This visualisation shows the SO2 plume from the eruption of Mt. Kasatochi in the Aleutian Island chain as it moves across the globe between 7-21 August 2008.

SAF topology and architecture

The AC SAF maintains five operations centres and two archives. The quality of the products is monitored by dedicated validation centres.

  • FMI: Leading entity, central Helpdesk and User Services, wep pages. Development, processing, archiving and dissemination of offline UV products, archiving and dissemination of ozone profile and aerosol products, validation of offline UV products and total water vapor.
  • DLR: Development, processing, archiving and dissemination of GOME-2 total ozone and trace gas products.
  • KNMI: Development and processing of GOME-2 ozone profile and aerosol products and dissemination of NRT versions. Validation of aerosol products and ozone distribution by data assimilation.
  • BIRA-IASB: Development support for total and/or tropospheric O3, NO2, BrO, SO2, OClO, HCHO, HCOHCO products. Validation and quality assurance of NO2, BrO, OClO, HCHO, CHOCHO and IASI SO2 and HNO3 products. Quality assurance WWW service for users.
  • DMI: Development, processing and dissemination of NRT UV products.
  • AUTH and MKF: Validation and quality assurance of GOME-2 and IASI total ozone and SO2 products. WWW user service for quality of total ozone products. User services for WMO bulletins and Ozone assessments.
  • LATMOS and ULB: IASI codes and algorithms and support for IASI ozone, ozone profile, CO, SO2 and HNO3 implementation and processing. Validation and quality assurance of IASI SO2, CO and HNO3 products.
  • KMI: Validation of GOME-2 and IASI ozone profile products with balloon soundings.
  • DWD: Validation of GOME-2 and IASI ozone profile products and GOME-2 offline tropospheric ozone, NO2, HCHO and aerosol products with lidar and microwave radiometers and quality assurance. NRT quality assurance services.
  • EUMETSAT: processing and dissemination of IASI products.
  • S&T Corporation: Development and updates of BEAT and VISAN interfaces for GOME-2 and IASI L1 and L2 data.

SAF user community

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF); National Weather Services; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and scientific research on ozone trace gases, aerosols and surface UV radiation.

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