Regional ATOVS Retransmission Service

Regional ATOVS Retransmission Services (RARS) are operational arrangements for the real-time acquisition of polar-orbiting satellite data over a wide region containing a network of direct readout stations and their rapid delivery to the global user community through regional processing centres. RARS is comprised of several regional components, one of which, the Asia Pacific Regional ATOVS Retransmission Service (AP-RARS), covers the Asia-Pacific Region. This initiative has improved weather forecasts over the globe, and is being expanded and replaced by the "Direct Broadcast Network for Near Real-Time Relay of Low Earth Orbit Satellite Data (DBNet).

General information for this service can be found on the World Meteorological Organization's RARS website.

Asia-Pacific RARS

Map showing AP-RARS Coverage.  Details of AP-RARS sites in the Table of AP-RARS Sites below.

The Asia-Pacific RARS (AP-RARS) is handled by the Dissemination Centres at Tokyo and Melbourne.

Participants within the AP-RARS are shown on the map to the left and detailed in the table below. The area of coverage is the area within approximately 2500 km of a ground reception site, shown by red outlines on the map.

Table of AP-RARS Sites

Operator (in alphabetical Order) AP-RARS Station Latitude Longitude
Australian Institute of Marine Science Townsville 19.28°S 147.05°E
Bureau of Meteorology Casey 66.26°S 110.53°E
  Davis 68.58°S 077.97°E
  Darwin 12.46°S 130.84°E
  Melbourne 37.88°S 144.96°E
(Perth reception is performed by WASTAC) Perth 31.95°S 115.89°E
China Meteorological Administration Beijing 39.93°N 118.28°E
  Guangzhou 23.13°N 113.30°E
  Urumuqi 43.78°N 087.60°E
Hong Kong Observatory Hong Kong 22.30°N 114.00°E
Japan Meteorological Agency Kiyose 35.77°N 139.53°E
Syowa 69.00°S 039.58°E
Korea Meteorological Administration Jincheon 36.99°N 127.43°E
National Environment Agency Singapore 01.36°N 103.92°E
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NZ) Maupuia 41.30°S 174.80°E

Bureau Coverage

Map showing Australian Area of RARS Coverage

Australian reception stations on the mainland and at Australia's Antarctic stations provide reception for a region extending from the south pole to north of the equator, and from New Zealand in the east to 2500km west of Perth in the Indian Ocean. The image on the left shows the coverage of the Bureau's polar orbiting satellite reception ground stations.

Processing Software

Information about the ATOVS and AVHRR Pre-processing Package (AAPP) is available from EUMETSAT.

Target timeliness of the service

The Australian RARS service is capable of delivering more than 95% of data within 30 minutes from the start of the ingest from all ingest sites. There is limited bandwidth available for data transfer from Antarctic stations, hence data is processed in-situ and only the sounding data is distributed in near real-time.

Distribution mechanism

The primary distribution mechanism is via the Global Telecommunications System (GTS). Data is sent to the Regional Telecommunications Hub in Tokyo (RTH Tokyo), as well as to Exeter in the UK.

Obtaining AP-RARS

The Bureau contact for the Asia-Pacific RARS is Mr Denis Margetic.

Denis Margetic
Bureau of Meteorology
Observations & Infrastructure Division
Box 1289 GPO
Melbourne VIC 3001
AUSTRALIA
Email: d.margetic@bom.gov.au

For enquiries concerning operational matters related to the Asia-Pacific RARS, please contact the Satellite Operations group via satellites@bom.gov.au.

Quality monitoring

RARS data quality monitoring takes place at two levels:

  1. The Regional Processing Centres are responsible for monitoring the performance of the RARS in their region;
  2. The Numerical Weather Prediction Satellite Application Facility (NWP SAF) routinely compares the data from all the RARS with global data.

In addition, data quality flags and indicators are generated during processing by the AAPP software and are embedded in the format of the retransmitted data alerting users to any inherent quality problems that might be present.

Monitoring by Regional Processing Centres

The standards for RARS operators are defined in an Operator Standards document, which is currently under review. These standards include a definition of service related information that should be gathered and published. Each RARS Regional Processing Centre is responsible for monitoring the completeness of the data collected from the regional network of direct readout stations and retransmitted by the Centre. Data reception monitoring is based on a comparison of the actual data received by the Regional Processing Centre with that expected from the nominal regional configuration. Data retransmission monitoring involves maintaining a record of the completeness and timeliness of all data sets retransmitted. The results of all data monitoring are published on the Regional Processing Centres' web sites.