GHRSST also acts as the Science Team of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Virtual Constellation for Sea Surface Temperature (CEOS SST-VC).

The Sea Surface Temperature Virtual Constellation (SST-VC) is a committee serving as the formal link between GHRSST and the broader CEOS community (

This committee coordinates space-based, ground-based, and/or data delivery systems to meet a common set of requirements within a specific domain. CEOS SST-VC leverages inter-agency collaboration and partnerships to address observation gaps,  sustain the routine collection of critical observations, and minimize duplication/overlaps while maintaining the independence of individual CEOS Agency contributions.


At the highest level, the SST-VC provides a means:

  • for CEOS to present to GHRSST its needs and requirements, and
  • for GHRSST to present its needs directly to the global community of space agencies.

There are several thematic connections between GHRSST and CEOS that take place at the working group level (for example, between the GHRSST Climate Data Record TAG and the CEOS Working Group on Climate).

After developing an SST-VC proposal according to the CEOS SIT process, the SST-VC Implementation plan was endorsed by the CEOS SIT in 2012.

Key documents

SST-VC contacts

For further information, please contact:

  • Ed Armstrong, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (NASA). Mail:
  • Christo Whittle, South African National Space Agency (SANSA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Mail:
The SST Constellation

Figure: The SST Constellation


Work plan

Second half 2021- First half 2022

  • Attendance and presentation at major CEOS meetings such as the 2021 CEOS SIT Technical Workshop, 2021 CEOS Plenary, and the 2022 CEOS SIT meetings.
  • Primarily focused on supporting ARD strategies for non-land datasets.
  • Contributor to the CEOS ARD Framework and Strategy revisions, and co-lead on the revised Minimum Product Family Specification (PFS)
  • Representation of the SST-VC in the CEOS ARD Oversight Committee: further refinement of CEOS PFS for non-land data (Ed Armstrong)
  • Representataion in the CEOS Ocean Coordination Committee (Christo Whittle)
  • Contribution to CEOS Coverage and CEOS Coast Initiatives.

Second half 2020-first half 2021

  • Organized and contributed to the CEOS “ARD Beyond Land” sessions: 2020 CEOS SIT Technical Workshop. (Sept 2020), 2020 CEOS Plenary (Nov 2020), 2021 CEOS SIT Meeting (Mar 2021), the working group telcos (2021) on ”ARD Beyond Land”, the CEOS Working Team all-hands Webex (Dec 2020, April 2021), participated in various CEOS COAST and CEOS LSI-VC telecons
  • Contributed to the revised CEOS ARD Framework governance documentation
  • Contribute to the develop of a ”bare bones” ARD Product Family Specification (PFS) that can be adapted to other thematic disciplines such as SST
  • New ARD recommendations are to be presented at the next CEOS SIT Tech Workshop with a proposed Decision for following the CEOS Plenary
  • Continue to assess CEOS-COAST needs and support project implementation
  •  Support SANSA in Ocean Data Cube and ARD development

Links to relevant documents