Now with Satel-Light, you have access instantaneously to daylight and solar radiation data all over Europe.
Before Satel-Light, the only way to obtain such data, was either to contact a measurement station or to buy a climatic atlas, both solutions being less than ideal. There are very few measurement stations continuously recording this kind of data in Europe (less than 20, see the IDMP). Climatic atlases such as the European Solar Radiation Atlas or the Meteonorm database are available on CD-ROMs and gather useful climatic information. However, these products have weaknesses: (1) there is no continuity of information over Europe (the information is based on a limited number of ground stations: around 600), (2) there are no hourly/half hourly values except for a few sites. High frequency values are essential to provide information on the dynamics of daylight and solar radiation. The data from the geostationary satellite Meteosat seemed to be the only way to obtain a continuous spatial coverage of Europe at a high frequency (30 minutes). Thus, a database drawn from Meteosat data and made widely available on the web, was for us a logical answer to the shortcomings of the existing products.
The Satel-Light project was funded by the European Union (Directorate General XII) from 1996 to 1998. Images produced by the Meteosat satellite every half hour, were chosen as our one and only source of information. The major difficulty stood in producing precise ground level data from the images using various models. Our first objective, was to improve/develop and validate such models. Our second objective, was to produce a database from two years of satellite images: 1996 and 1997, and make it widely available via an Internet web server.
The Satel-Light project associated 10 research teams (see picture) with an expertise in acquisition and analysis of satellite images or in solar radiation/daylight measurement and modelling. The web server was developed on the side by a team of four persons with expertise in solar radiation modelling, computer graphics and database to web server connectivity.
Acquisition and Analysis of Satellite Images
Annette Hammer,Detlev Heinemann,
Solar radiation/Daylight Measurement and Modelling
Dominique Dumortier,Marc Fontoynont
Web Server Development