WMO Space Programme Overview

Objectives and Activities

The WMO Space Programme promotes availability and utilization of satellite data and products for weather, climate, water and related applications of WMO Members.

It aims to leverage an "end-to-end system", for weather and climate services. This ranges from capturing of data, over calibration to quality control, dissemination and user-training. The Space programme is actively engaged with projects and activities in each of these steps. (Illustration 1)

End to End System
Illustration 1: Activities of the WMO Space Programme along the "End-to-End" System

The space programme's activities span four main components

Integrated space-based observing system

The long-term goal is an integrated space-based observing system involving operational and R&D environmental satellites and ground segments, supporting all WMO or WMO-supported programmes, as the space-based component of WIGOS.

Through partnership with satellite operating agencies, CGMS and CEOS, the Space Programme:

  • keeps under review the space-based observing capabilities
  • analyzes the gaps with respect to evolving requirements
  • leads the definition and updating of a baseline system
  • supports global planning, optimization, and coordination
  • organizes satellite inter-calibration
  • encourages transition of new technology to operations.

More info:


Availability and use of satellite data and products

While upcoming satellite systems will generate increasing amounts of advanced measurements, a major challenge is to ensure that improved data and products are actually available to more users in all regions.
The Space Programme supports cooperation on:

  • Key application products (e.g. SCOPE-CM for climate)
  • Processing software and data assimilation
  • Improved data accessibility through the Integrated Global Data Dissemination Service (IGDDS) project, which involves:
    • formulation of data access requirements
    • integrated dissemination systems (DVB-S/S2)
    • interoperability through WIS data/metadata standards
    • Direct Broadcast protocols, Internet-based services, sounding retransmission and other initiatives.

More info:

User Information and Training

The goal is to raise awareness on satellite capabilities and to promote satellite-relatededucation to keep Members's staff up-to-date with technological evolutions, with focus on developing countries.
The Space Programme :

  • implements the five-year strategy for the Virtual Laboratory (VLab) relying on the network of Centres of Excellence
  • supports participation of developing countries in training events and scientific conferences as resources allow
  • monitors satellite data use by WMO Members
  • maintains web sites and portals providing guidance on the availability and use of satellite data, produts and services

More info:

Space Weather Coordination

The Space Programmesupports international coordination of operational activities in Space Weather in order to improve Space Weather hazard warnings to key application sectors such as aviation, radio-communications, satellite operations, power grid operations, or precise positioning.
The Space Programme supports:

  • review of observing requirements, capabilities, gap analysis, and recommendations for future observations
  • standardization and enhancement of Space Weather Data exchange and delivery through the WIS
  • harmonization of product definition and specificatioin interaction with key application sectors including ICAO
  • information and training, and dialogue between the research- and operational Space Weather communities.

More info:



Strategic Framework

The WMO Space Programme operates in the framework or the mandate, vision, mission and strategic priorities of WMO. It is linked to the objectives set out in the WMO Strategic Plan 2016-2019. Its overall goal is to support Members with successfully implementing the global development agendas, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


(Updated 7 December 2018)