Training and Outreach


Once of the main functions of the NWP SAF is to provide educational training courses in the assimilation of satellite
data and encourage development through the organisation of science workshops. This is primarily done through the annual EUMETSAT/ECMWF NWP-SAF Satellite data assimilation course as well as other, shorter workshops. Details are given below.

EUMETSAT/ECMWF NWP-SAF Satellite data assimilation

This course is sponsored by EUMETSAT comprises 18 hours of lectures plus 5 hours of practical sessions. It is aimed primarily at graduate students and other research scientists (e.g. from National Meteorological Services) who are relatively new to the subject of satellite data assimilation for NWP. However, it also caters for more experienced scientists who wish to advance their knowledge in specific areas. Lectures focus on aspects that are important for the successful exploitation of satellite observations in NWP from fundamental theoretical concepts through to detailed practical implementations in modern state-of-the-art data assimilation systems.

Topics include:

  • Global Observing System overview
  • What do satellites measure?
  • Data assimilation algorithms and key elements
  • The infrared spectrum, measurement, modelling and information content
  • Introduction to GPS radio occultation
  • Wind information from satellites¬† (PMW, SCAT, AMV and PT)
  • Observation errors
  • Microwave observations in clear-sky conditions
  • Microwave observations in all-sky conditions
  • The detection and assimilation of clouds in infrared radiances
  • Estimation and correction of systematic errors

More details of the course, including how to sign up are available on the course’s ECMWF homepage.

Previous courses

Resources from recent courses are publicly available (available via the external links below).


Assimilation of hyperspectral geostationary satellite observations (2017)

A NWP SAF workshop on ‘Assimilation of Hyperspectral Geostationary Satellite Observations‘ was held at ECMWF, Reading, UK, on 22-25 May 2017. The workshop was intended to assess the state of readiness ahead of the launch of the METEOSAT Third-Generation geostationary satellite and focused on the latest progress in instrument calibration and spectral characterisation, advances in radiative transfer modelling and the various assimilation strategies being considered to exploit this unique and exciting source of observations.

Efficient representation of hyperspectral infrared satellite observations (2013)

An NWP SAF workshop on the ‘Efficient representation of hyperspectral infrared satellite observations‘ was held at ECMWF, Reading, UK, on 5-7 November 2013. The workshop focused on optimizing dissemination practices to allow data compression with minimal information loss, together with the development of novel data assimilation techniques that can efficiently convey this information to the analysis.

Scatterometer Data Assimilation Workshop (2011)

In April 2011, the NWPSAF ran a Scatterometer Data Assimilation Workshop at EUMETSAT. The goal of the workshop was to provide NWP data assimilation colleagues insight in the main relevant characteristics of the scatterometer data, provide guidance for data assimilation and collect NWP user requirements. Slides, posters and training material have been made available here.

Assimilation of IASI in NWP (2009)

An NWP SAF workshop on the Assimilation of IASI in NWP was held at ECMWF, Reading, UK, on 6-8 May, 2009. The workshop considered the progress that had been made in the exploitation of these unique hyper-spectral observations. The methods that have been adopted to assimilate clear and cloud affected radiances were covered, in addition to novel techniques based on the use of principal components and level-2 retrievals. Reflecting the recent expansion of NWP systems to cover environmental monitoring applications, the workshop also dealt with the assimilation of atmospheric constituent information from IASI.

Bias estimation and correction in data assimilation (2005)

The NWP SAF Workshop on ‘Bias estimation and correction in data assimilation‘ was held at ECMWF, Reading, UK on 8-11 November 2005. The workshop focused on the careful handling of biases in data assimilation in order to make ffective use of current and future satellite observations.

Other outreach activities

Representatives from the NWP SAF also participate in international scientific conferences such as ITSC, IWW, etc. and other externally organised workshops to gather information about user requirements for NWP SAF software packages.

Recent ITSC links

The International TOVS Study Conference (ITSC) is held every 18-24 months to provide a forum to facilitate the exchange of information on methods for extracting information from these data on atmospheric temperature and moisture fields and on the impact of these data in numerical weather prediction and in climate studies. Below is a table of resources from recent conferences:

ITSC XXI (December 2017, Darmstadt, Germany) Report to follow Program to follow
ITSC XX (October 2015, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA) Report Program
ITSC XIX (March 2014, Jeju Island, South Korea) Report Program
ITSC XVIII (March 2012, Toulouse, France) Report Program

Recent IWW links

The International Winds Working Group (IWWG) was established in 1991 and became a formal working group of the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) in 1994. Workshops (IWW) are held approximately every 2 years. The aim is to promote exchange of scientific and operational information between the producers of satellite derived wind products, the research community and the user community

IWW14 (April 2018 Jeju City, South Korea) Proceedings to follow Program to follow
IWW13 (June 2016, Monterey, California, USA) Proceedings Program
IWW12 (June 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark) Proceedings Program
IWW11 (February 2012, Auckland, New Zealand) Proceedings Program

EUMETSAT Training and Conferences

EUMETSAT Conference 2017
Conferences and Events
If you would like to add a link to your satellite-related event or training please contact the helpdesk.