For more than 40 years, satellites have been monitoring clouds, aerosols, solar radiation and the water cycle, providing researchers with vast amounts of data to sift through and analyse.
With the A-Train constellation of 5 Earth-observation satellites1 dedicated to studying the atmosphere and the water cycle, this stream of data is increasing. The Icare research structure aims to provide shared access to these data so that the scientific community can exploit them fully. Icare was set up in 2003 by CNES, CNRS2, INSU3 and USTL4, with backing from the Nord Pas-de-Calais Regional Council and the European Union, to create new momentum for the efforts of French laboratories studying atmospheric phenomena.
Icare manages products derived from A-Train data, as well as from previous missions like ScaRaB and Polder. It also processes data from weather satellites like Meteosat and MSG, which provide a broad spectrum of complementary observations.
The Icare research structure’s dedicated Data Management and Processing Centre (DMPC), operational since 2005, is responsible for getting synthesis products quickly to scientists. The DMPC processes and distributes data, particularly to research centres working on clouds, aerosols, radiation and the water cycle.