"high-quality pan-European weather radar composite products"
The central tasks of OPERA are:
The main requirements for OPERA are:
The current phase of OPERA will last 2013-2018.
The Coordinating Member is the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and the Project Manager is Dr. Elena Saltikoff.
Odyssey, the OPERA Data Centre, generates and archives composite products from raw single site radar data using common pre-processing and compositing algorithms.
Odyssey creates 3 composite products:
– Instantaneous Surface Rain Rate
– Instantaneous Max Reflectivity
– 1 Hour Rainfall Accumulation
Composite product description
The composites cover the whole of Europe in a Lambert Equal Area projection. They are updated every 15 minutes, and issued ca. 15 minutes after data time.
In the Surface rain rate composite each composite pixel is a weighted average of the lowest valid pixels of the contributing radars, weighted by the inverse of the beam altitude. Polar cells within a search radius of 2.5 km of the composite pixel are considered. Data measured below 200 m altitude are not used. Measured reflectivity values are converted to rainfall (mm/h) using the Marshall-Palmer equation. Rainfall accumulation is simply the sum of the previous four 15-minute surface rain-rate products. In the Maximum reflectivity composite each composite pixel contains the maximum of all polar cell values of the contributing radars at that location.
Composites are available in two formats: BUFR and HDF5. Each file has two fields: the data field and the quality field.
Access to data
The members of OPERA and EUMETNET may use the composites for their official duties without a separate licence.
The OPERA products are also available under license to 3rd parties:
– For national weather services not participating in OPERA which want to use the products to support their public weather service, contact email@example.com
– For a research and education licence, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
– For a licence to exploit the products commercially, contact one of the ECOMET members contact points or send a mail.
The OPERA community has developed several software packages to enable exchange of radar data from different sources and manufacturers. User support is provided to the OPERA group and other users of the OPERA BUFR software, including commercial radar software suppliers.
– OPERA BUFR software encodes and decodes radar data in BUFR format. The encoder includes a pre-processor preparing an ASCII file as input to the final processor which then writes the binary data file. BUFR table maintenance includes defining new descriptors, sequences, and tables for use with OPERA BUFR software, where relevant and applicable.
– Compositing software Within the first OPERA Programme, compositing software has been developed that is available to all OPERA members. It is portable software that runs on all commonly available computer platforms.
Two software packages have been developed for transmitting data to the operational data hub:
– BUFR exchange software in the BUFR exchange software version 3.2.
– HDF5 exchange software
Software and tables to download
links to zip files
Documentation of the software, in PDF files
During the years, the OPERA community has produced an impressive library of documents, recommendations and definitions. Many of the early technical documents have now more of historical value.
One of OPERAs tasks is to provide support to its members in environmental and societal issues related to weather radars, such as radar siting, radio-frequency interference and the impact of wind farms. Some of the publications are related to this task.
Selected publications of OPERA 4 (2013-2018)
Selected Deliverables of OPERA 3 (2007-2012)