EUMETCast,EUMETSAT’s broadcast system for meteorological and environmental data, is now disseminating RETIM data for Météo-France on a fully operational basis, replacing the RETIM2000 system. Part of the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Telecommunication System, RETIM2000 disseminates the meteorological data of Météo-France to 200 internal users and 350 external users in Europe and Africa and will end transmissions in August 2010.
Météo-France authorized the deployment of 551 EUMETCast stations to replace RETIM2000, which entered service in 2002 and needed to be updated, as most of its receivers reached the end of their service lives and required replacement after seven years and the system had to be modified in order to handle greater data rates than currently possible. Météo-France conducted an analysis of several options for updating RETIM2000: modifying the existing system, developing a new system, and migration to EUMETCast, which uses the same technologies as RETIM2000. The last option was found to be the most effective, assuring both the continuity and growth potential of the solution, and the most cost-effective.
Météo-France, in cooperation with EUMETSAT, launched the first investigations in January 2009. A prototyping phase demonstrated the feasibility of broadcasting RETIM on EUMETCast, including managing different categories of products and associated access rights. This was followed by an implementation phase, begun in April 2009, which continued until February 11, 2010, when the system was qualified as operationally ready by Météo-France and EUMETSAT; in particular, the successful and timely delivery of data was checked extensively. RETIM2000 and the dissemination of RETIM services on EUMETCast are currently operating in parallel, allowing the gradual switching from the old to the new system, which will be completed in summer 2010, when the old system stops operating.