Established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), the Virtual Laboratory for Training and Education in Satellite Meteorology (VLab) is a global network of specialized training centres and meteorological satellite operators working together to improve the utilisation of data and products from meteorological and environmental satellites.
Eight satellite operators are involved: CMA, CONAE, EUMETSAT, INPE, JMA, KMA,
NOAA and ROSHYDROMET, and thirteen training centres – called Centres of Excellence (CoEs) – located in Argentina (Buenos Aires and Cordoba), Australia (Melbourne), Barbados (Bridgetown), Brazil (Cachoeira Paulista), China (Beijing and Nanjing), Costa Rica (San Jose), Kenya (Nairobi), Morocco (Casablanca), Niger (Niamey), Oman (Muscat), Republic of Korea (Gwanghyewon), the Russian Federation (Moscow and St Petersburg) and South Africa (Pretoria). Three CoEs are linked to universities (Buenos Aires, St. Petersburg and Nanjing).
The CoEs, working closely with one or more of the satellite operators and often co-located with WMO Regional Training Centres, are established in all WMO Regions to meet user needs for increased skills and knowledge in using satellite data within their Region.
The VLab activities are also supported by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), the European Virtual Organisation for Meteorological Training (Eumetcal), the EUMETSAT sponsored international training project (EUMeTrain), and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) COMET Training Program of the United States.