Information Resources

WMO Space Programme Glossary

The Glossary explains acronyms used on the WMO Space Programme Website. The fastest way is to start typing the keyword you are looking for, the table then filters the results.

For other acronyms please consult the WMO terminology database METEOTERM.

Acronym Definition Comment
AAPP AVHRR & ATOVS Pre-processing Package Software developed by NWP SAF
AATSR Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer Instrument on Envisat
ABI Advanced Baseline Imager Instrument on GOES-R series
ABS Advanced Baseline Sounder  
ACE Atmospheric Climate Experiment  
ADEOS ADvanced Earth Observing Satellite JAXA satellite
ADM Advanced Dissemination Methods WMO, IGDDS
ADM-Aeolus Atmospheric Dynamics Mission ESA satellite
AHRPT Advanced HRPT Metop dissemination standard
AIRS Advanced Infra-Red Sounder Instrument on Aqua, NASA
ALOS Advanced Land Observing Satellite JAXA satellite
AM Ante Meridian Before noon
AMESD  African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development  PUMA follow-on
AMSR-E Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer / EOS JAXA instrument on Aqua (NASA)
AMSU Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit Instrument on NOAA/POES and Metop
AMV Atmospheric Motion Vector Level 3 product
AOPC Atmospheric Observation Panel for Climate GCOS
APT Automatic Picture Transmission NOAA/POES,analog transmission
Aqua NASA Earth Observation Satellite in p.m. orbit NASA, EOS pm
ARGOS Data collection and location system on NOAA/POES  CLS
ASAP Automated Shipboard Aerological Programme  
ASCAT Advanced Scatterometer Instrument on Metop
ASMET African Satellite Meteorology Education and Training Computer Aided Learning
ASTER Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer Instrument on Terra
ATBD Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document GSICS
ATMS Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder Instrument on NPP and NPOESS
ATOVS Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder Instrument suite on NOAA/POES and Metop
ATS Applications Technology Satellite Demonstrator for GEO satellites before GOES
ATSR Along Track Scanning Radiometer Instrument on ERS
AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Instrument on NOAA/POES, Metop
AWI Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research  Germany
AWIPS Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System NOAA, USA
BOM Bureau of Meteorology  (Australia) Australia
BUFR Binary Universal Form for data Representation Codes and Format
CALIOP Cloud Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization CALIPSO satellite
CAST Chinese Academy of Space Technology Partner in CBERS development (China)
CBERS China - Brazil Earth Resources Satellite INPE (Brazil) and CAST (China)
CBS Commission for Basic Systems WMO
CCAR Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research  (USA)  
CCD Charged Couple Device Type of camera flown on several meteorological satellites
CCRS Canada Centre for Remote Sensing  
CEOS Comittee on Earth Observation Satellites
CERES Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System Instrument on Aqua, Terra, NPOESS-1
CFC Chlorofluorocarbon  
CGMS Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites
CHAMP CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload for magnetic & gravity field measurement DLR (Germany) and CNES (France)
CHRPT China's High Resolution Picture Transmission Specific HRPT implementation
CIMSS Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies University of Wisconsin, USA
CIRA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere Colorado State University, USA
CLS Collecte, Localisation Satellites DCS operator (France)
CM Consultative Meeting on High-level Policy on Satellite Matters  
CMA China Meteorological Administration China
CME Coronal Mass Ejection Space Weather
CMI Climate Moisture Index  
CMIS Conically Scanning Microwave Imager / Sounder Planned instrument for NPOESS
CMS Centre de Météorologie Spatiale  (France) Meteo-France
CNES Centre Nationale d’Etudes Spatiales French National Space Agency
CNSA China National Space Administration China
CoE Centre of Excellence Virtual Laboratory, Training
COMET Cooperative programme for Operational Meteorology Education & Training UCAR
CONAE Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales Argentina
COPUOS United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space UN-OOSA
COSMIC Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate UCAR
CPTEC Centreo de Prévision del Tiempo y Estudios Climaticas Brazil, INPE
CrIS Cross track Infrared Sounder Instrument on NPP and NPOESS
CZCS Coastal Zone Colour Scanner Ocean colour demonstrator on Nimbus-7 (NASA)
DBNet Direct Broadcast Network for LEO Satellite Data RARS follow-on
DCP Data Collection Platform See DCS
DCPC Data Collection or Production Centre WIS component, WMO
DCRS  Data Collection and Retransmission Service   See DCS
 DCS  Data Collection System  
DLR Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt  German Aerospace Centre
DMI Danish Meteorological Institute Denmark
DNMI Norwegian Meteorological Institute Norway
DMSP Defence Meteorological Satellite Program (USA) USA
DVB-S Digital Video Broadcast by Satellite Telecommunication standard
DWD Deutscher Wetterdienst German national meteorological service
DWSS Defense Weather Satellite System USA, DOD
EARS EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service EUMETSAT, RARS
ECMWF European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts
EC-PORS Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar Operations Research and Services GCW
ECT Equatorial Crossing Time Local solar time of equator crossing (fixed for sun-synchronous orbits)
ECV Essential Climate Variable GCOS
ENSO El Niño Southern Oscillation  
ENVISAT Environmental Satellite ESA satellite
EOS Earth Observation Satellite See: Aqua, Terra, Aura
EPS EUMETSAT Polar System See: Metop, EUMETSAT
ERB Earth Radiation Budget  
ERS European Remote-sensing Satellite ESA satellite
ESA European Space Agency
ESRC Environmental Satellite Resource Center ESRC, COMET, UCAR, VL
ET-EGOS Expert Team on the Evolution of the Global Observing system CBS, WMO
ET-SAT Expert Team on Satellite Systems CBS, WMO
ET-SUP Expert Team on Satellite Utilisation and Products CBS, WMO
EUMETSAT European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
EUV Extreme Ultra Violet  
fAPAR Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation Vegetation product
FMI  Finnish Meteorological Institute  Finland
FNMOC Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center  US Navy
FOV Field of View  
FTP File Transfer Protocol  
FY-1,3 Feng Yun- 1,3 (Chinese polar orbiting meteorological satellite series) CMA
FY-2,4 Feng Yun-2, 4  (Chinese geostationary satellite series) CMA
GAW Global Atmospheric Watch WMO, Atmospheric Chemistry
GCC GSICS Coordination Centre GSICS
GCOM Global Change Observation Mission JAXA
GCOS Global Climate Observing System WMO, UNESCO/IOC, UNEP, ICSU
GCW  Global Cryosphere Watch  
GDPS Global Data processing System WMO
GDSIDB Global Digital Sea Ice Database, WMO, IOC, JCOMM
 GDWG GSICS Data Management Working Group GSICS
GEO Geostationary orbit  
GEO Group on Earth Observations
GEOSS Global Earth Observation System of Systems GEO
GERB Geostationary Earth radiation Budget instrument Instrument on MSG
GEWEX Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment WCRP
GFCS Global Framework for Climate Services  
GHRSST Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature GODAE
GHz Giga-Hertz  
GIFTS Geostationary Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer NASA developed instrument
GIIPSY Global Interagency IPY Polar Snapshot Year project  IPY
GISC Global Information System Centre WIS component, WMO
GLAS Geoscience Laser Altimeter System IceSat, NASA
GLI Global Imager JAXA
GLONASS Global Navigation Satellite System (Russian) Russian federation
GMES Global Monitoring of Environment and Security European Union and ESA
GMS Geostationary Meteorological Satellites  (Japan) MTSAT, Japan
GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System GPS
GODAE Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment  
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (USA) NOAA/NESDIS, USA
GOME Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment Instrument on ERS-2
GOMOS Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars Instrument on Envisat
GOMS Geostationary Operational Meteorological Satellite Russian Federation
GOOS Global Ocean Observation System UNESCO/IOC, WMO, UNEP, ICSU
GOS Global Observing System A WWW component, WMO
GPCP Global Precipitation Climatology Project GEWEX, WCRP
GPM Global Precipitation Measurement  NASA-JAXA programme
GPRC GSICS Processing and Research Centre GSICS
GPSOS Global Positioning System Occultation Sensor  
GPS Global Positioning System  
GPS/MET Meteorological applications of GPS  
GRACE Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment NASA
GRAS GNSS Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding Metop, GPS/Met
GRB GOES Re-Broadcast ( GOES-R dissemination system) NOAA
GRWG GSICS Research Working Group GSICS
GSFC Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA) NASA
GSICS Global Space-based Inter-Calibration System WMO - CGMS project
GTS Global Telecommunications System A WWW component, WMO
GTZ Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (Germany) Germany
GVAR GOES Variable Format NOAA
HDF Hierarchical Data Format Format
HEO Highly Elliptical Orbit e.g. Molniya orbit
HIRS High resolution Infrared Sounder Instrument on NOAA/POES, Metop
hPa hecto-Pascal Unit of atmospheric pressure otherwise known as millibar
HR High resolution  
HRC High Resolution Camera Instrument on CBERS-2B
HRIT High Rate Information Transmission (dissemination standard for GEO) Direct broadcast standard agreed through CGMS
HRPT High Resolution Picture Transmission (dissemination standard for LEO) Direct broadcast standard agreed through CGMS
HSB Humidity Sounder - Brazil Instrument on Aqua
IASI Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer Instrument on Metop
ICSU International Council for Science  
ICTSW Inter-programme Coordination Team on Space Weather  WMO CBS, CAeM
IDCS International Data Collection System DCS
IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme  
IGDDS Integrated Global Data Dissemination Service WMO, WIS
IGEOLab International Geostationary Laboratory for demonstration missions Cooperation concept
IGOS-P Integrated Global Observing Strategy - Partnership  
IJPS Initial Joint Polar System NOAA, EUMETSAT
ILAS-II Improved Limb Atmospheric Sounder Instrument on ADEOS II
IMD India Meteorological Department India
IMOP Instruments and Methods of Observation Programme WMO
IMWM Institute of Meteorology and Water Management  Poland
INM Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia   (Spain) Spain
INPE National Institute for Space Research   (Brazil) Brazil
INSAT Indian geostationary multi-function SATellite India
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission UNESCO
IOCCG International Ocean Colour Coordination Group


IP Internet Protocol Telecommunication protocol
IPD International Polar Decade  
IPWG International Precipitation Working Group CGMS
IPY  International Polar Year  
IRAS Infrared Atmospheric Sounder Instrument on FY-3 series (China)
IRMSS Infrared Multi-Spectral Scanner Instrument on CBERS-2
IRS Indian Remote Sensing Satellite ISRO, India
ISCCP International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project GEWEX, WCRP
ISES International Space Environment Service Space Weather
ISRO Indian Space Research Organization India
ISWI International Space Weather Initiative  
ITCZ Inter Tropical Convergence Zone  
ITSC International TOVS Study Conference ITWG, CGMS
ITWG International (A)-TOVS Working Group CGMS
IWWG International Wind Working Group CGMS
JASON Ocean surface topography mission NASA, CNES, NOAA, EUMETSAT
JAXA Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Japan
JCSDA Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation USA
JMA Japan Meteorological Agency Japan
JCOMM Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology WMO, UNESCO/IOC
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA) NASA
JPSS Joint Polar Satellite System NOAA
KARI Korea Aerospace Research Institute Korea
KMA Korea Meteorological Administration Korea
KNMI Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute National meteorological service of the Netherlands
LAC Local Area Coverage NOAA/POES
LAI Leaf Area Index  Vegetation parameter
LBR Low Bit Rate  
LEO Low Earth Orbit  
Lidar LIght Detection And Ranging  
LIS Lightning Imaging Sensor TRMM, NASA
LRIT Low Rate Information Transmission (dissemination standard for GEO) Direct broadcast standard agreed through CGMS
LRPT Low Resolution Picture Transmission (dissemination standard for LEO) Direct broadcast standard agreed through CGMS
LST Land Surface Temperature Level 2 product
LST Local Solar Time (usually Mean Local Solar Time) Sun-Synchronous orbits
McIDAS Man-computer Interactive Data Access System UNIDATA, UCAR
MDD Meteorological Data Distribution Meteosat
Megha-Tropique A joint CNES-ISRO mission CNES, ISRO
MERIS Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer Instrument on Envisat
MERSI Medium Resolution Spectral Imager Instrument on FY-3, China
Meteosat Meteorological Satellite Series of European geostationary meteorological satellites (EUMETSAT) - see MSG, MTG
METOP METeorological OPerational (polar) satellite of EUMETSAT EUMETSAT
MHS Microwave Humidity Sounder Instrument on Metop, NOAA/POES
MIRAS Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis SMOS, ESA
MIS Microwave Imager Sounder Planned instrument on NPOESS
MISR Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer Instrument on Terra
MODIS MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Instrument on Aqua and Terra
MOPITT Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere Instrument on Terra
MOS Marine Observation Satellite  
MSG Meteosat Second Generation EUMETSAT
MSMR Multichannel Scanning Microwave Radiometer  Oceansat-1, ISRO
MSU-SK Multispectral Infrared Conical Scanning Radiometer Resurs and Okean, Roscosmos
 MTG  Meteosat Third Generation  EUMETSAT
MTSAT Multi-purpose Transport Satellite JMA, Japan
MTSAT-FO Multi-purpose Transport Satellite Follow-On JMA, Japan
MTVZA Microwave Scanning Radiometer Meteor 3M, Russian Federation
MWHS Microwave Humidity Sounder Instrument on FY-3 series, China
MWTS Microwave Temperature Sounder Instrument on FY-3 series, China
MWR Microwave Radiometers Instrument on Envisat
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration USA
NASDA National Space Development Agency (Japan) Now: JAXA
NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research USA
NCEP National Center for Environmental Prediction  NOAA, USA
NCSA National Center for Supercomputing Applications   HDF, University of Illinois
NDVI Normalised Differential Vegetation Index  
NESDIS National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service NOAA, USA
NetCDF Network Common Data Format  Format, UNIDATA, UCAR
NIR Near InfraRed  
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology GSICS Member, USA
NMHS National Meteorological and Hydrological Services  
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration USA
NOAAPORT DVB-S dissemination system for AWIPS products NOAA, USA
NPOESS National Polar Operational Environmental Satellite System USA
NPP NPOESS Preparatory Project USA
NRSC National Remote Sensing Centre  China
NRT Near-Real Time  
NSCATT NASA wind Scatterometer Instrument on ADEOS
NSMC National Satellite Meteorology Centre  CMA, China
NWP Numerical Weather Prediction  
Oceansat Ocean monitoring Satellite ISRO, India
OCI Ocean Colour Imager  
OCM Ocean Colour Monitor Oceansat, ISRO
OCTS Ocean Colour and Temperature Scanner ADEOS, JAXA
OLR Outgoing Long-wave radiation  
OMI Ozone Mapping Instrument Aura
OMPS Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite NPOESS
OPAG-IOS Open Programme Area Group on Integrated Observing Systems WMO, CBS
OSEI Operational Significant Event Imagery team NOAA/NESDIS
OSMI Ocean Scanning Multispectral Imager  
OSSEs Observing System Simulation Experiments  
PAN Panchromatic sensor  
Planeta "Planeta" Scientific and Research Centre on Space Hydrometeorology Russian Federation
PM Post Meridian After noon
PMEL Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory NOAA
POES Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite NOAA satellite series
POLDER Polarization and Directionality of Earth Reflectance ADEOS
PSU Practical Salinity Units  
PUMA Project for Preparing the Use of Meteosat second generation in Africa EUMETSAT
QuikSCAT Ocean surface wind measurement mission with Seawinds instrument NASA
Radarsat Radar satellite CSA (Canada)
RAOBs RADiosonde OBServations  
RARS Regional ATOVS Retransmission Services IGDDS, EARS
RMTC Regional Meteorological Training Centre WMO
Roshydromet Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environment Monitoring Russian Federation
Roscosmos Russian Federal Space Agency Russian Federation
R&D Research and Development  
RRR Rolling Review of Requirements WMO
RSSC-CM Regional/Specialized Satellite Centre on Climate Monitoring . This initiative is now renamed "SCOPE-CM" Renamed: SCOPE-CM
SAC-C Scientific Applications Satellite-S CONAE (Argentina)
SAF Satellite Applications Facility EUMETSAT (SAF web page)
SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar  
SATAID Satellite Animation and Interactive Diagnosis JMA, Japan
SBUV Solar Backscatter Ultra Violet  (radiometer) Instrument on NOAA/POES
SCIAMACHY SCanning Imaging Absorption SpectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY Instrument on Envisat
SCOPE-CM Sustained and Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (former R/SSC-CM), ECV
Seasat Sea Satellite NASA, USA
SeaWIFS Sea Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor Instrument on Orbview-2 
(former SeaStar) satellite
Seawinds Scatterometer for sea surface wind measurement Instrument on QuikSCAT
SEVIRI Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager Instrument on MSG
SFCG Space Frequency Coordination Group
SIRS Satellite Infrared Spectrometer  
SMI Soil Moisture Index  
SMOS Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite Earth Explorer, ESA
SOG Statement of Guidance WMO, RRR
SSEC Space Science Engineering Center University of Wisconsin, Madison
SSM/I Special Sensor Microwave/Imager DMSP
SSS Sea surface salinity Level 2 product
SST Sea Surface Temperature Level 2 product
SWH Significant Wave Height Level 2 product
TDCF Table Driven Code Form Examples are BUFR and GRIB
TIROS Television InfraRed Observation Satellite NOAA former satellite series
TMI TRMM Microwave Imager Instrument on TRMM
TOA Top of Atmosphere  
TOMS Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer  
TOPEX-Poseidon TOPographic EXPeriment – Poseidon  ocean surface topography mission NASA - CNES
TOVS TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder NOAA/POES
TRMM Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission NASA - JAXA
UARS Upper Atmosphere research Satellite NASA satellite
UCAR University Corporation for Atmospheric Research USA,
UKMO United Kingdom Meteorological Office Now: "Met Office, UK "
UNCCD United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification  
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  
UNIDATA UCAR program Center for Earth Sciences data and tools (Unidata website) , UCAR
UN-OOSA United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs  
UTC Universal Time Coordinated  
UTH Upper Tropospheric Humidity Level 2 product
UTWV  Upper Tropospheric Water Vapour  
UV Ultraviolet  
VIIRS Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite Instrument on NPP and NPOESS
VIRR Visible and Infrared Radiometer Instrument on FY-3 series, China
VIRS Visible Infrared Scanner Instrument on TRMM
VIS Visible channel  
VisitView Software tool for distance learning Virtual Laboratory
VISSR Visible and Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer   Instrument on GMS, JMA, Japan
VLab Virtual Laboratory Training
VRL Virtual Resources Library Virtual Laboratory
WCRP World Climate Research Programme WMO, UNESCO/IOC, ICSU
WEFAX Weather Facsimile  
WFI Wide Field Imager Instrument on CBERS
WIGOS WMO Integrated Global Observation Systems WMO, system of observing sytems
WIS WMO Information System A WWW component
WMO World Meteorological Organization  
 WMO SP  WMO Space Programme  WMO programme
WWW World Weather Watch WMO programme
W3C World Wide Web Consortium XML
XML Extensible Markup Language Format developed by W3C
ZAMG Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics Austria