Project title

The GlobWave Project is an initiative funded by ESA (and subsidised by CNES) through the Data User Element (DUE), which is a programmatic element of the 3rd period of the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-3), an optional programme of the European Space Agency.Its goal is to improve the uptake of satellite-derived wind-wave and swell data by the scientific, operational and commercial user community.


To help improve uptake of satellite-derived wind-wave and swell data the project's strategy is:

  • Develop and maintain a GlobWave web portal providing a single point of reference for satellite wave data and its associated calibration and validation information. The web portal will enable access to:** Satellite wave data sets** A directory of different sources of wave data including their main characteristics** Online tools providing graphical and statistical diagnostics, based on comparison between satellite data streams and in-situ data** A handbook for new users providing information on the various types of satellite wave data and how to access and utilise them
  • Intercomparison of different wave data sources** SAR and altimeter wave data with collocated in-situ measurements** Cross characterisation between different satellite data streams
  • Provision via the GlobWave web portal of:** A uniform, harmonised, quality controlled, multi-sensor set of satellite wave data and ancillary information in a common format, with a consistent characterisation of errors and biase** The demonstration of new types of satellite wave data products, such those based on new retrieval techniques, new types of satellite data, merged data from different sensors, or combinations of model and satellite data
  • Develop and trial a pilot facility, following JCOMM recommendations, to permit operational agencies to routinely spatially intercompare their wave models with satellite wave data.

The main outputs of GlobWave are the wave height database and the PS-WFVS monthly reports. Globwave collects wave height imagery from 12 data streams, including both satellite Altimeters and SAR systems. This data is processed to add additional quality parameters and converted into a standard netCDF format. Such wave height is available as either Near Real Time (NRT) data, which is available a few hours after satellite acquisition, or as a Geophysical Data Record, which has gone through additional quality control checks including calibration with in situ data.

The Pilot Extension to the Wave Forecast Verification Scheme (PS-WFVS) is a spatial-intercomparison scheme comparing the Globwave wave height information with regional forecast models. Individual monthly reports are produced specific for each data provider. 


ESA (European Space Agency):

CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales):


Ifremer (Institut Français de Recherche et d'Exploitation de la Mer):

CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites):

NOC (National Oceanography Centre):

SatOC (Satellite Oceanographic Consultants Ltd): 


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