Geographical extension

Last update: Dec. 2017

    Objective of the service - Characteristics - Steps of developments - Bibliography Heliosat-5


Objective of the service

The satellite-derived solar radiation database HelioClim-3 was so far limited to the coverage of the Meteosat Second Generation satellite, i.e. -66° to 66° both in latitude and longitude. The objective is to develop an operational service to process the real time Meteosat Second Generation images now available on the Indian ocean for the IODC service.

For that purpose, Transvalor has invested on a PhD thesis. Benoit Tournadre joined MINES ParisTech two months ago and is buried under a large volume of publications to build his bibliography.

In the meantime, we aim at developing a precursor of service which could be available to users in the meantime of the developments within the framework of this thesis.

Characteristics of the service


  • the Meteosat images
  • McClear clear sky values for the MODIS albedo  

Methodology for the precursor of service:

  • Rho_sat identical to the one of Heliosat-2
  • Rho_cloud identical to the one of Heliosat-2
  • All the work is focused on Rho_clear, which exploits McClear to avoid the weakness of Heliosat-2 (Rho_g et Kc_max)


  • Direct usage of McClear (instead of indirect like in HelioClim-3 version 5)
  • No problem of sea shore temporal unconsistency
  • Glitter correction included
  • Direct correction of altitude

Steps of developments

(reverse chronological order)

Oct. 2017: precursor of service available but not yet validated. We run out of time to carry out this validation...

Oct. 2017: start of PhD at MINES ParisTech

2017: Research contract between Transvalor and MINES ParisTech


Discussion with LW about wet/dry areas

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Bibliography for Heliosat-5

(In alphabetic order and and reverse chronological order)


Amillo et al. 2014 Amillo A. G., T. Huld, and R. Mueller, 2014. "A New Database of Global and Direct Solar Radiation Using the Eastern Meteosat Satellite, Models and Validation", Remote Sensing 2014, 6(9), 8165-8189; doi:10.3390/rs6098165 ?

Content: Compares GHI of Meteosat Prime and Meteosat IODC.

Blanc et al. 2018 Blanc P., B. Gschwind, L. Ménard, L. Wald, 2018. "Monthly averaged maps of surface BRDF parameters in ten spectral bands for land and water masses", Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,, rejected MODIS, spectral,  ground reflectance, albedo

Content: Even if this paper has finally been rejected, I (Claire THOMAS, Transvalor) recommend you to have a look to this work. It consists of an extension of the previous paper (Blanc et al. 2014) in ten spectral bands.

Blanc et al. 2014 Blanc P., Gschwind B., Lefevre M., Wald L., 2014. "Twelve monthly maps of ground albedo parameters derived from MODIS data sets". In Proceedings of IGARSS 2014, held 13-18 July 2014, Quebec, Canada, USBKey, pp. 3270-3272. MODIS, ground reflectance, albedo

Content: Presentation of the monthly maps of MODIS parameters (fiso, fvol and fgeo) used to generate albedo for each instant in the year, derived from holy maps of collected MODIS maps (holes due to clouds).

Lefèvre et al. 2013 Lefèvre M., A. Oumbe, P. Blanc, B. Espinar, B. Gschwind, Z. Qu, L. Wald, M. Schroedter-Homscheidt, C. Hoyer-Klick, A. Arola, A. Benedetti, J. W. Kaiser, and J.-J.  Morcrette, 2013. "McClear: a new model estimating downwelling solar radiation at ground level in clear-sky conditions", Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 2403-2418, doi:10.5194/amt-6-2403-2013. McClear



Oumbe et al. 2014 Oumbe A., Z. Qu, P. Blanc, M. Lefèvre, L. Wald, S. Cros, 2014. "Decoupling the effects of clear atmosphere and clouds to simplify calculations of the broadband solar irradiance at ground level". Geoscientific Model Development, 7, 1661-1669, 2014, doi:10.5194/gmd-7-1661-2014. Corrigendum, 7, 2409-2409, 2014. Decoupling cloudless atmosphere and cloud effects


Qu et al. 2016 Qu, Z., Oumbe, A., Blanc, P., Espinar, B., Gesell, G., Gschwind, B., Klüser, L., Lefèvre, M., Saboret, L., Schroedter-Homscheidt, M., and Wald L., 2016. "Fast radiative transfer parameterisation for assessing the surface solar irradiance: The Heliosat-4 method". Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 26, pp. 33-57, doi:10.1127/metz/2016/0781. Heliosat-4




Rigollier et al. 2004 Rigollier C., M. Lefèvre, L. Wald, 2004. "The method Heliosat-2 for deriving shortwave solar radiation from satellite images", Solar Energy 77(2), pp. 159-169, 2004, doi 10.1016/j.solener.2004.04.017




Xi et al. 2016 Xie Y., M. Sengupta, and J. Dudhia, 2016. "A Fast All-sky Radiation Model for Solar applications (FARMS): Algorithm and performance evaluation", Solar Energy, Volume 135, October 2016, Pages 435-445. Heliosat-4

Content: Description of the method FARMS, which is very similar to Heliosat-4.

Digging the METEOSAT Treasure—3 Decades of Solar Surface Radiation  => paper of Richard Mueller and Uwe Pfeifroth concerning the construction of SARAH (CM-SAF)

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