Remote sensing from space

The section 'Remote sensing from space' takes care of the reception of satellite images used for the weather forecast. We process satellite measurements for our research into global climate change. We build our own instruments for the measurement of solar energy from satellites. We also measure the available solar energy in Belgium.

The core activities are:

  • Satellite images for weather forecast

Satellite observations are the main data source for input into weather forecast models. The European geostationary Meteosat satellite provides the moving weather images which allow to follow the displacement of clouds.

  • Global climate change: the earth energy budget

The European GERB instrument measures the energy budget from the earth from the Meteosat satellite. The RMIB is the centre for the processing of the GERB data.

  • The sun and the climate

The sun has a direct influence on the climate on earth. We build our own instruments for the measurement of the amount of solar energy which reaches our planet. We use these instruments from satellites. Our currently active DIARAD/VIRGO instrument provides measurements since 1996.

  • Solar energy in Belgium

We measure the available solar energy at various place in Belgium, since 1951. In Ukkel, on average 2.8 kWh per square metre and per day is available. From 1984 until now, Ukkel became 10% more sunny.


The main research activities of the service are the Sun and our Climate and  the Energy budget of the Earth.

Contact persons

Dr. Stijn Nevens (ENG/NL/FR): Head of section

Tel.: 02/373 06 02

Dr. Nicolas Clerbaux (FR)

Tel.: 02/373 06 10


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