The NWP-SAF provides software applications and monitoring for the use and assimilation of satellite data in NWP models.
The NWP SAF is led by the Met Office, UK, with partners ECMWF, Météo-France and Deutscher Wetterdienst. The SAF was started in February 1999 with a Development Phase which ran for five years, followed by a 3-year Initial Operational Phase. The current Continuous Development and Operations Phase runs until 2022.
The objectives of the NWP SAF are:
- to improve the benefits derived by European NMSs from NWP, by developing techniques for more effective use of satellite data; and
- to prepare for effective exploitation within NWP of data/products from satellites in the EPS and MSG programmes and related programmes of other agencies.
The main functions of the SAF are:
- to co-ordinate user requirements for the interfaces between the data assimilation systems of European NWP centres and satellite data/products, and to evaluate priorities for meeting these requirements;
- to develop satellite data processing modules, including: pre-processing modules, retrieval modules, assimilation modules (including so-called ‘observation operators’), modules for monitoring, tuning and quality control, and modules for validation of satellite products and of observation operators; and
- to assist with the implementation of processing modules and to provide user support.