GÉANT and EUMETSAT: weathering the storm of big data


GÉANT and EUMETSAT: weathering the storm of big data

Where would we be without weather forecasts?

Aside from sunstroke and soggy shoes, imagine being a pilot about to fly transatlantic? Or a farmer planning which crops to sow? Imagine life as an oil rig engineer, a traffic controller, or even a tour operator? It would be unfathomable.

Thankfully, we have the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)—a global operational satellite agency at the heart of Europe.

Established in 1986, it delivers round the clock meteorological data to partners and users all over the world.

A vital collaboration between 30 Member States; EUMETSAT exists to protect human life, property and the economy, by monitoring weather, climate and the environment.

Here’s how…

EUMETSAT provides weather monitoring

Pretty much everything is weather-dependent. From the price and availability of your favourite foods, to how you get to work, where you holiday, and how you stay healthy, warm and safe.

Without accurate forecasts the running of many industries we take for granted would be impossible. Think: agriculture, utilities, construction, civil aviation, food security…

And without dangerous weather warnings, local authorities and emergency services would struggle to keep up.

EUMETSAT provides climate monitoring

From forest fires and melting Arctic ice, to volcanic clouds and rising sea levels, EUMETSAT satellites stand watch, 24 hours a day.

These satellites relentlessly record vital data that helps the National Meteorological Services make important decisions for our social and economic well-being.

This puts EUMETSAT at the core of climate change research. In fact, without it, scientists working to protect our planet would be unable to do their jobs.

As such, EUMETSAT is key to international partnerships such as the World Meteorological Organization (WHO); aiding governments in times of crises and helping to prevent disasters.

A big data challenge

Real-time data transfer is critical to accurate weather forecasting, nowcasting and other weather and climate related applications. And weather agencies all over the world rely on this data.

Yet making it simultaneously accessible, 24-hours a day, is a huge challenge.

Add to this: constantly evolving satellite technologies and changing user needs; and it’s clear the seamless observation of atmosphere, ocean and land surfaces is a big data challenge of epic proportions.

It all requires flexibility, continuity, IT security, and constant monitoring. Challenges that need a coordinated response and cutting-edge infrastructures.


How GÉANT helps

EUMETSAT delivers its Near Real Time (NRT) data via its EUMETCast satellite dissemination system. It explores the extension of this satellite-based system with a complementary terrestrial component – using the same multicast and dissemination technologies.

GÉANT and its National Research and Education (NREN) partners work with EUMETSAT to establish this complementary EUMETCast element called EUMETCast-Terrestrial.

Working together they distribute its satellite data to scientists and meteorologists around the world.

Flexible, scalable, fast

With EUMETCAST Terrestrial, agencies, researchers and scientists can connect to their local NREN to receive data at high speeds of up to 200Mbps.

It is a flexible and scalable concept, with GÉANT acting as a single point of contact between EUMETSAT and the NRENs. This single point of contact element allows the most efficient and cost-effective means for coordinating, monitoring of this element.

By harnessing GÉANT’s existing networks and the NRENs, EUMETSAT taps into a wealth of established monitoring and technical service support. This enables near-real time monitoring; crucial in case of anomalies.

Fun facts

The socio-economic benefit of EUMETSAT satellites in the European Union is estimated to be worth more than EURO 5 billion per year.

EUMETSAT already holds more than 35 years of data in its archive (and growing).

Metop makes a major contribution to the performance of the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), accounting for 25% of the reduction of 24-hour forecast errors due to all observations ingested in real time by models.

“GÉANT helps us interact with hundreds of NRENs via a single point of contact. Without it, getting EUTMETSAT Terrestrial set up—as efficiently as we did—would have been very difficult. One of GÉANT’s key added values is its ability to very quickly develop and implement new concepts and services, in collaboration with us. This level of speed and efficiency would be impossible without the expertise and management of GÉANT.”

Lothar Wolf, Competence Area Manager for Data Services at EUMETSAT​

What does GÉANT offer?

2 Exabytes* a year is already carried at high speed and low latency

* (That’s 2 BILLION Gigabytes!)

Federating services and architecture plus eduroam, the worldwide wi-fi roaming service

Europe-wide procurement frameworks for tailored, market leading cloud offerings

40+ NRENs, extensive partnerships, programmes, workshops, task forces and events

The research GÉANT enables touches almost every aspect of our lives. Not only that, but its networking technology is shaping the internet of tomorrow.

Find out more on the

GÉANT website

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