WMO Space Programme Overview

Structure and Governance

The Programme is supported by the WMO Space Programme Office (SAT), which acts as the WMO focal point for satellite matters and maintains active relationship with a number of programmes and international bodies in this area.  The Office is part of the Observing and Information Sytems Department (OBS), WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems Branch (WIGOS), and includes the Space-Based Observing System Division (SBOS) and the Satellite Data Utilization Divsion (SDU).

WMO Members contribute to the WMO Space Programme through the activities of their respective space agencies and through the work of their experts and training centres.


The Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) has the lead role for the WMO Space Programme, in full consultation with the other technical commissions. CBS leadership relies on WMO Member technical expertise provided primarily through the CBS Open Programme Area Group for Integrated Observing Systems (OPAG-IOS) and its Expert Team on Satellite Systems (ET-SAT), and Inter-Programme Expert Teams on Satellite Utilization and Products (IPET-SUP) and on Observing System Design and Evolution (IPET-OSDE). The OPAG-IOS makes recommendations to CBS biennially.  CBS reports annually to the WMO Executive Council through the report of the president of CBS.

A formal dialogue is established with environmental satellite agencies through the WMO Consultative Meetings on High-level Policy on Satellite Matters (CM), which provide advice and guidance on policy-related matters and maintain a high-level overview of the WMO Space Programme.

Illustration 1: Visualization of the Governance Structure

Within OPAG-IOS the two Expert Teams ET-SAT and IPET-SUP are specifically addressing satellite matters:


The Inter-Programme Expert Team on Satellite Utilization and Products (IPET-SUP) is composed of representatives of satellite data users and trainers from WMO Members


The Expert Team on Satellite Systems (ET-SAT) is composed of representatives of space agencies contributing to the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS)


Relations with partners

As a cross-cutting programme, the Space Programme works in connection with the different WMO or co-sponsored programmes he is responding to, such as World Weather Watch (WWW), Disaster Risk Reduction Programme (DRR), Tropical Cyclone Programme (TCP) or Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

The Space Programme maintains close cooperation with the Co-ordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) and its three science groups: the International A-TOVS Working Group (ITWG), the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG), the International Radio-Occultation Working Group (IROWG) and the International Winds Working Group (IWWG). It also cooperates with the Committee for Earth Observations Satellites (CEOS), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and its Global Earth Observation System of Sytems (GEOSS). Regular relationship is maintained with United Nations system organizations through the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) and the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

Illustration 2: Visualization of the Department Structure and relations with Partners
(note: Click on the Logos to go to their respective Websites)

(Updated 7 December 2018)