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The satellite application facility on ozone and atmospheric chemistry monitoring (O3MSAF) is a consortium of EUMETSAT member states and other institutes. Its aim is to complement the production of standard meteorological products derived from satellite data. The O3MSAF will be responsible for the processing of data on ozone, other trace gases, aerosols and ultraviolet data obtained from satellite instrumentation.

The O3MSAF will use observations of the atmosphere, performed by the future EUMETSAT METOP satellites to derive information about the ozone content of the atmosphere useful for meteorological applications and climate/ozone layer monitoring. The first METOP satellite, METOP-A (Fig. 1), was launched on the 19th of October 2006 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.


At RMI, we are responsible for the validation of the GOME-2 ozone measurements, that is, for the comparison of satellite retrieved ozone observations with other ozone observations performed with ozonesondes, in Uccle and around the world. The Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment–2 (GOME-2) is an optical spectrometer, fed by a scan mirror which enables across-track scanning in nadir, as well as sideways viewing for polar coverage and instrument characterisation measurements using the Moon. GOME-2 senses the Earth’s backscattered radiance and extraterrestrial solar irradiance, in the ultraviolet and visible part of the spectrum (240-790 nm), at a high spectral resolution, between 0.2–0.4 nm. 4096 spectral points from four detector channels are transferred per individual GOME-2 measurement.

The footprint size is 80 x 40 km for main channel data. The recorded spectra are used to derive a detailed picture of the total atmospheric content of ozone and the vertical ozone profile in the atmosphere. They also provide accurate information on the total column amount of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, water vapour, oxygen / oxygen dimmer, bromine oxide and other trace gases, as well as aerosols.

Since the second CDOP phase (continuous development and operations phase), also ozone measurements from the IASI instrument will be validated.

Also validation of GOME-2 offline tropospheric ozone, in collaboration with KNMI and DLR will be done.

Validation of NO2, HCHO, aerosol products together with quality assurance is also a part of our tasks.