EUMETSAT: Helping to Weather Any Storm, Come Rain or Shine

Friday 31 January 2014
EUMETSAT: Helping to Weather Any Storm, Come Rain or Shine


All of Europe’s meteorological satellite data is generated by EUMETSAT, an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1986. The European operational satellite agency for monitoring weather, climate and the environment helps governments and decision makers to enhance and safeguard the daily lives of European citizens, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Lothar Wolf, Competence Area Manager for Data Services at EUMETSAT, located in Darmstadt, Germany, and Jan Koernicke, Customer Support Manager at Newtec Berlin, Germany, were interviewed by Kerstin Roost to provide you with all the facts you need to know for this global network and the technology behind.

Mission Critical Weather Updates

EUMETSAT operates a system of meteorological satellites that observe the atmosphere, ocean and land surfaces. This data is processed and distributed to meteorologists to help identify and monitor the development of potentially dangerous weather situations, while also issuing timely forecasts and warnings to emergency services and local authorities. This work helps to mitigate the effects of severe weather and protect human life and property.

The information is also critical to the safety of air travel, shipping and road traffic, and to the daily business of farming, construction and many other industries.

Reliable Content Distribution

The data from EUMETSAT’s satellites is received by ground stations and re-processed within EUMETSAT’s ground segments located in Darmstadt, Germany. The processed data are then distributed in near-real-time to users in three continents: Europe, Africa and the Americas. This is carried out using a multi-service multicast dissemination system called EUMETCast, which transmits the data via DVB technology standard towards users equipped with low-cost reception stations and which will be extended to transmission via terrestrial networks soon.

The EUMETCast platform is hosted on the Multi-Mission-Dissemination System (MMDS) and uses Newtec’s Network Optimization software (NOP) called TelliCast software. This gear provides reliable, multicast content distribution, and transmits the IP multicast stream to a satellite uplink station and a terrestrial multicast network. End-users receive the data and products on low-cost off-the shelf PC based reception stations that use the TelliCast client software for the incoming multicast transmissions.

TelliCast is the robust and reliable engine inside the EUMETCast distribution system and delivers data streams to 4000 EUMETCast subscribers (such as national meteorological services, commercial forecasters, flight control institutions or individual private subscribers) worldwide based on its embedded conditional access system. The software boasts an efficient channel and priority-based bandwidth management mechanism.

EUMETCast currently delivers data in a fully operational and secure manner, with high flexibility to handle various formats and scalability to accommodate additional data.

Weather Forecasting

Flash floods in Sardinia: 18 November 2013 - Flash floods caused by heavy thunderstorms tear through streets in Sardinia, submerging homes and killing at least 18 people ©EUMETSATEUMETSAT’s satellites play a vital role feeding National Meteorological Services with data for weather forecasting to help them to issue timely warnings to save lives and reduce losses to property and infrastructure from storms, heavy precipitation, heat waves, floods, etc.

Over a third of the European economy is also weather sensitive. For example, energy providers rely on weather forecasts to anticipate power demand and adapt their production during both hot and cold spells.

Image (Download animation and full resolution image):  Flash floods in Sardinia: 18 November 2013.



EUMETSAT also supports oceanography, as systematic and long-term routine observations of the ocean help with application areas such as maritime safety, shipping, management of marine resources, coastal ecosystems and marine pollution, and off-shore industry.


Climate Change

Climate Monitoring: Cloudy September in Central Europe - 24 October 2013: There was a North-South divide in the cloudiness of Europe at the beginning of autumn (c)EUMETSATWith more than 30 years of consistent data, EUMETSAT’s meteorological satellites are an invaluable asset for climate monitoring and understanding of our changing climate. Their role will grow increasingly important in the future.

Image (Download full resolution image): Climate Monitoring - Cloudy September in Central Europe - 24 October 2013



Migration to DVB-S2

During the latest months Newtec has been assisting EUMETSAT designing and implementing a new generation of their EUMETCast platform and MMDS system and supported EUMETSAT with the transition from DVB-S to a DVB-S2 service and the introduction of Variable-Coding-Modulation transmission modes (VCM). Not only will the volume of the transmitted data increase significantly - next to the current satellite transmission, terrestrial networks will be added for data distribution as well.


Satellite Industry Significance

At present, all of the above mentioned data is distributed by satellite, highlighting how significant the satellite industry is to our everyday lives.


To put it simple: Without the data that EUMETSAT processes and distributes the economy would definitely dwindle in strength.

You’ll find more information on EUMETSAT’s EUMETCast service on their dedicated website.

To read more about the Newtec products in use for this service visit the following product pages: