Easy access to weather satellite data

One of the easiest ways to see weather satellite images is by using a EUMETCast Reception Station.  All you need is a computer and satellite dish, set-up with specialist processing and visualisation software.

What is EUMETCast?

EUMETCast is our broadcasting system. Similar to the way your satellite TV receiver box receives data which are turned into images on your TV, we broadcast data collected by our satellites that can be turned into images on your computer.

EUMETCast is based on standard Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology and uses commercial telecommunication satellites to transmit lots of files to the user at the other end.

With a little bit of IT knowledge it is possible to set up a EUMETCast system at a school. In fact some schools already have reception stations.

Figure 1: The EUMETCast system

Setting up your own EUMETCast Station

You’ll need:

  • A satellite dish
  • A computer
  • A PCI card or a DVB receiver (similar to a Sky box)
  • Processing and visualisation software

How it works

  1. The satellite dish needs to be installed outside.
  2. The dish is connected to the computer.
  3. The data is received either via the card (which is in the computer) or the DVB box.
  4. Files are sent to a dedicated area on the computer.
  5. To see imagery the processing and visualisation software must be installed.

Full technical details and information on equipment providers can be found in the EUMETCast section of our website.

Depending on the PC equipment you already have and what you need to buy, it is estimated set-up costs are between 400 and 3,000 EURO. Receiving our data is free, but you do need a licence.

Looking at the images

Once the station is set up, you’ll be able to access massive amounts of data from around the world. As well as EUMETSAT data you could get data from other weather satellites, such as those belonging to NASA.

With all this data the types of meteorological and environmental images you could see are almost limitless.

Then you can use our online training resources and Image Library to help you analyse the images you’ve chosen.

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A hurricane

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A storm

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Snow and ice

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The jetstream


About the Author

Sancha Lancaster

Sancha Lancaster

Learning Zone Writer

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