Day 4

Detailed paper information

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Paper title Metrology for Earth Observation: the European Metrology Network for Climate and Ocean Observation
  1. Emma Woolliams National Physical Laboratory Speaker
  2. Nigel Fox National Physical Laboratory
  3. Celine Pascale Federal Institute of Metrology METAS
  4. Paola Fisicaro Laboratoire national de métrologie et d’essais (LNE)
Form of presentation Poster
  • B1. Calibration, validation and data quality, FRM
    • B1.01 SI-Traceable Satellites - a Gold Standard for Climate and Intercalibration
Abstract text The Fiducial Reference Measurement (FRM), Fundamental Data Record (FDR) and Thematic Data Product (TDP) activities all have a common aim – to provide long-term satellite data products that are linked to a common reference (ideally the SI), with well-understood uncertainty analysis, so that observations are interoperable and coherent. In other words, measurements by different organisations, different instruments and different techniques should be able to be meaningfully combined and compared. These programmes have implemented the principles of the Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO), which was adopted in 2008 by the Committee for Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).

The adoption of QA4EO, and the comprehensive research programme that has followed it, have come from a fruitful and long-term collaboration between scientists working in National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and the Earth Observation community, and especially the efforts of ESA to embed metrological principles in all its calibration and validation activities.

The European Association for National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) has recently created the “European Metrology Network (EMN) for Climate and Ocean Observation” to support further engagement of the climate observation and monitoring communities with metrologists at national metrology institutes and to encourage Europe’s metrologists to coordinate their research in response to community needs. The EMN has a scope that covers metrological support for in situ and remote sensing observations of atmosphere, land and ocean ECVs (and related parameters) for climate applications. It is the European contribution to a global effort to further enhance metrological best practice into such observations through targeted research efforts and provides a single point of contact for the observation communities to Europe’s metrologists.

In 2020 the EMN carried out a review to identify the metrological challenges related to climate-observation priorities. The results of that review are available on the EMN website ( and include 32 identified research topics for metrological institutes. The EMN is now defining a strategic research agenda to respond to those needs. The EMN is also working with the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to organise a “metrology for climate action workshop” to be held online in October 2022.

Here we present the activities of the EMN and how they relate to the establishment of SI-traceability for satellite Earth Observations.