About CEOS and CGMS

CEOS coordinated GCOS and space agencies in setting out a formal response to the needs for space-based observations defined by GCOS, culminating in a report to the UNFCCC in Bali in 2007 which was received with acclaim by the Conference of the Parties.

As such, a coherent end to-end definition of requirements is therefore in place where the needs in terms of space data products are internationally well defined and scientifically agreed.

CEOS ensures international coordination of civil space-based Earth observation programs and promotes exchange of data to optimize societal benefit and inform decision making for securing a prosperous and sustainable future for humankind.

Comittee on Earth Observation Satellites - CEOS

CEOS ensures international coordination of the civil Earth-observing programmes of more than 30 of the world’s leading space agencies. These agencies are collectively investing billions of euros in space infrastructure with the capability to provide sophisticated, continuous and sustained observations of the entire planet. CEOS website

CEOS is the mechanism that brings these organisations together to collaborate on missions, data systems, and global initiatives that benefit society and align with their own Agency missions and priorities.

Earth Observation Requirements

The global nature of climate change issues presents special challenges in terms of the need for global information and data on key planetary indicators that can provide the information required for governments and policy makers to make well-informed decisions.

Recognising that no single country can satisfy all of the observational requirements necessary for monitoring of the Earth system, governments are taking steps through CEOS to harmonise and integrate their observing network.

Over time, the circumstances surrounding the collection and use of space-based Earth observations have changed.

  • The number of Earth-observing satellites has vastly increased.
  • Onboard instruments are more complex and are capable of collecting new types of data in evergrowing volumes.
  • The user community has expanded and become more diverse as different data types become available and new applications for Earth observations are developed.
  • Users have become more organized, forming several international bodies that ensure coordination and minimise redundancy of efforts.
CGMS supports operational weather monitoring and forecasting as well as climate monitoring, in response to requirements formulated by WMO, its programmes and other programmes jointly supported by WMO and other international agencies.

Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites - CGMS

The objective of the CGMS is the global coordination of the operational meteorological satellite systems, including protection of in orbit assets, contingency planning, improvement of quality of data, support to users, facilitation of shared data access and development of the use of satellite products in key application areas multi-lateral coordination and cooperation across all meteorological satellite operators in close coordination with the user community (WMO, IOC-UNESCO and other user entities). CGMS website

The main goals of the coordination activities of the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites are to

  • support operational weather monitoring and forecasting as well as climate monitoring, in response to requirements formulated by WMO, its programmes and other programmes jointly supported by WMO and other international agencies.

It is the policy of CGMS to coordinate satellite systems of its members in an end-to-end perspective, including protection of in-orbit assets and support to users - e.g. through appropriate training - as required to facilitate and develop shared access to and use of satellite data and products in various applications.

This policy is reflected in the structure of the so called High Level Priority Plan (HLPP) initially endorsed by CGMS-40 plenary session in 2012, covering:

  • Coordination of observing systems and protection of assets
  • Data dissemination, direct read out services and contribution to the WIS product development
  • Enhance the quality of satellite-derived data and products
  • Outreach and training activities
  • Cross-cutting issues and new challenges