Within the IPSL Data Centre, ESPRI-Obs team offers expertise and services around the management, valorization and processing of observational and reanalysis data in support of the objectives of the IPSL Centre of Earth Observation (ICEO).

We provide access and services to different types of observational datasets:

Satellite observations

Satellite data are either  from other data centres (NASA, Eumetsat, ICARE, etc.), or produced directly by the ESPRI group or IPSL researchers, or acquired in real time (geostationary data or via a real time antenna for IASI data in particular). For example, IASI and GOSAT data are used to estimate and monitor trace gases such as ozone, methane and carbon monoxide on a global scale. Other satellite data are available at the Mesocentre on the water cycle theme, such as Megha-Tropiques, CALIPSO, AMSU, etc. There are also international satellite databases such as the GEWEX-Cloud Assessment database for the intercomparison of cloud products or the CFMIP-Obs database for the evaluation of climate models.

Ground-based datasets

Most of the ground data managed by ESPRI comes from observation networks such as NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change), which carries out lidar measurements of ozone, aerosols and water vapour, or from instrumented sites operated by the IPSL, such as the SIRTA site (Site Instrumental de Recherche par Télédétection Atmosphérique), located on the Saclay plateau (Ecole Polytechnique and CEA). These two structures contribute to the ACTRIS research infrastructure dedicated to the study of aerosols, clouds and reactive gases.

Balloons dataset

All data from balloon campaigns are stored and distributed by ESPRI. These may be intercomparison, validation or experimental campaigns. In particular, the data from the STRATEOLE-2 balloon campaigns.


For almost 20 years, ESPRI make available ECMWF meteorological data for the needs of the IPSL community, namely ERA40, ERA-Interim, ERA-20C and operational analyses. Other reanalyses (MERRA, MERRA-2, NCEP, etc.) are also available and formatted by the ESPRI service. These tasks are handled by ESPRI because the volumes involved, for ERA-40, ERA5, the COPERNICUS Climate Change Service reanalysis operated by ECMWF, require a major effort for data  archiving. 

There are also satellite data reanalysis datasets, the FCDRs (Fundamental Climate Data Record)or CDR (Climate Data Records), which are long series of satellite observations that have been intercalibrated or whose calibration has been corrected, thus enabling these data to be used for climate purposes. Three major sets of FCDRs are currently available at ESPRI: GRIDSAT (geostationary data reanalysis), AMSU-NOAA (microwave sounder reanalysis) and SSMI-CSU (microwave imager reanalysis).

Finally, reanalyses of ground data are also being developed, in particular the reanalysis of SIRTA data, Re-Obs.

The ESPRI-Obs team also supports activities for different IPSL communities such as :

  • The African Pollen  and paleoclimate database
  • Services around SIG
  • Urbain air quality climate studies through the PANAME data portal. 

ESPRI-Obs is one of the four Data and Services Centers of the national AERIS thematic data center. It manages data and projects for:  

  • space missions (e.g. IASI, GOSAT, GEWEX), 
  • regional projects (e.g. Hymex, Charmex), 
  • in-situ measurement campaigns and services for operationnal support (e.g. MAGIC, EUREC4A, MICA, STRATEOLE-2), 
  • observation networks (e.g. NDACC, ACTRIS),
  • chemical reaction database (IUPAC) and spectroscopy database (GEISA),
  • web services and information system

ESPRI-Obs is also a data center for European projects such as HEMERA (balloon data management), and for various data streams of the European structure ACTRIS-RI (Eurochamp, GRES, Re-Obs projects).

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