The ESPRI IPSL mesocenter brings together a set of services: storage space, computer servers, virtualisation products, network infrastructure, computing and analysis software installed at École Polytechnique in a shared DSI room and on the Pierre and Marie Curie campus of the Sorbonne University in an IPSL room. This infrastructure, resulting from twenty years of pooling resources, was built as closely as possible to IPSL's scientific projects and constitutes a magnificent asset for IPSL. It allows:

  • IPSL scientists to carry out analysis on data and simulation results describing all or some of the components of the terrestrial climate system (atmosphere, ocean, continental surfaces, sea ice, chemistry, biogeochemistry, etc.).
  • data processing and distribution activities to be supported, including within the framework of international infrastructures. The most structured IPSL projects to date are: the climate modelling centre, the Earth observation hub which includes field campaigns and part of the national AERIS infrastructure and the solar system hub. The ESPRI IPSL mesocenter constitutes an essential building block of the two CLIMERI Research Infrastructures for climate modelling and for the Earth system cluster for AERIS.

The technical coordination put in place at IPSL and formalised during the previous outlook makes it possible to identify and implement new technologies on prototypes and to select the best operational solutions to be deployed. The ESPRI IPSL platform is part of the national high-performance computing ecosystem as a Tier 3: it is a thematic platform combining computing and data, linked to national and European computing centres which offers IPSL scientists and their partners resources well suited to their needs. In the context of climate services, the question of access to this amazing tool by research offices is already being raised. An economic model that allows us to achieve this within the current constrained system remains to be found.


There are many challenges in the management and processing of observation data, including:

  • The heterogeneity of data types and sources (ground, satellite, campaign, etc.)
  • Long-term preservation of single observations
  • Variety of formats
  • Difficulties related to data quality, missing data
  • Terminology for observation data (lack of consensus at the international level)

At the international level, observation information systems have not yet reached maturity (various standards, non-unified IS, etc.). There is therefore still a long way to go before the FAIR principles (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) are met.

To meet the challenges listed above and given the growing number of space missions for Earth observation and of the resources for in situ measurement, IPSL relies on the ESPRI-OBS group made up of engineers specialised in the management, exploitation and processing of observation and re-analysis data.

The role of this team is therefore to carry out the management, collection, processing, presentation and dissemination of observation data in support of the objectives of the IPSL Observation Centre. In particular, it aims to enhance the value of the data produced by IPSL as well as to make data of community interest available to IPSL and its partners through the ESPRI-INFRA platform, and via computing resources used by the IPSL community .

ESPRI-OBS works on nationally governed projects and on projects to achieve objectives specific to IPSL. Within the national framework, ESPRI-OBS is one of the four Data and Service Centres (DSC) of the AERIS national data division. In this role, ESPRI-OBS manages data and projects for space missions (IASI, GOSAT, etc.), regional projects (Hymex, Charmex, etc.), measurement campaigns, observation networks (NDACC, ACTRIS, etc.). Within the IPSL framework, the ESPRI-OBS group manages data and projects in support of the objectives of the IPSL Observation Centre.


ESPRI-MOD aims to occupy a pivotal position at the interface between French researchers and international climate modelling data.

ESPRI-MOD aims to manage, share and promote the research data necessary to achieve the strategy of the IPSL Climate Modelling Centre (ICMC), CNRM and CERFACS. In this regard, ESPRI-MOD manages the strategy for these issues within the ClimERI research infrastructure. ESPRI-MOD faces challenges at different levels:

  • Dissemination of climate simulations carried out by French teams to the international climatology community
  • Provision of reference simulations
  • Post-processing of data and metadata in line with international standards

ESPRI-MOD services supply data to numerous simulation analysis projects by the scientific community, undertake regional simulations based on the results of large-scale projections and disseminate the results of numerous impact studies.

ESPRI-MOD is a member of networks providing data simulations at international and European level and makes data available to emerging climate services (IS-ENES & Copernicus Climate Change Service).


The ESPRI-Infra IT department at IPSL is made up of 5 people and its main missions are:

  • to offer an infrastructure to host the information system for projects led by the federation
  • to offer IPSL staff, and more generally the staff working in the federation, a range of services adapted to the needs of the teams of researchers, engineers and administrators,
  • to initiate discussions and offer support for joint actions between the different teams of system administrators in the federation's laboratories.

Research Services at IPSL (ESPRI)