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The Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) has evolved over time as its remit has changed and developed in response to the needs of its user community. The following gives a brief history of this evolution and a timeline of significant changes. 

The original "CEDA" group followed the merger of two of NERC's data centres  - the BADC and NEODC - in 2005, originally being called the Centre for Environmental Data Archival. However, with greater support for users analysing the data too a slight name change from the A in CEDA from Archival to Analysis occurred in 2015 to reflect this growing and important role for CEDA. 

Prior to 2005 CEDA's history was that as the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC), with "CEDA"'s 20th anniversary being celebrated in 2015.  Sam Pepler also put together a presentation about CEDA's evolution during this time which was presented at the 10th International Digital Data Curation conference in 2015.

The BADC was established in 1994 when it superseded a previous facility: the Geophysical Data Facility (GDF). The GDF was previously funded by the then Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) and primarily supported what was then called the "upper atmosphere" remote sensing community (based as it was on studies of the atmosphere between 10 and 400km). However a survey of the NERC community (Carruthers and Thornes, 1995:Development of the Atmospheric Science and Technology Implementation Plan), resulted in an increased remit for the newly renamed BADC to support the entire NERC atmospheric science community. Over the last few years, it has become apparent that the BADC provides services to a wider community than just the atmospheric sciences community (e.g. medicine, biology, waste management, marine sciences, ecology, etc...).

Historical facts about the CEDA are detailed below:


  • Fran Eggleton joins CEDA in March.
  • Sarah Callaghan leaves CEDA in April to take up a new position within Elsevier. 
  • Peter Marek joins CEDA as a year in industry student. 
  • Elle Smith and Jen Bulpett join CEDA in September. 


  • JASMIN Phase 4 becomes operational. Increasing capacity up to 44 Petabytes with over 11,000 cores. 
  • Highlights published in CEDA annual report 2017-18



  • Neil Massey joins CEDA in October.
  • Richard Smith joins CEDA in September.
  • Kleanthis Tsaousis leaves CEDA in August to take up a new position within JISC.
  • Kate Winfield leaves CEDA in August to finish her degree.
  • Marek Ertinger joins CEDA as a year in industry student in July.
  • Highlights published in CEDA annual report 2015-16.


  • Fatima Chami joins CEDA in December.
  • Anabelle Guillory leaves CEDA in December to take up a position within ECMWF. 
  • Ruth Petrie joins CEDA in October.
  • Edward Williamson joins CEDA in September.
  • Matt Pryor and William Tucker join CEDA in August.
  • Kate Winfield joins CEDA as a Year In Industry student in July.
  • CEDA name changes from Centre of Environmental Data Archival to Centre of Environmental Data Analysis.
  • Spiros Ventouras leaves CEDA in May.
  • Eduardo da Costa left CEDA in May to take up a position within ECMWF.
  • Hayley Gray joins CEDA in April. 
  • Kevin Marsh left CEDA to take up a position within ECMWF.
  • Highlights published in CEDA annual report 2014-15.



  • New CEDA data catalogue service built on MOLES3.4 released, replacing previous catalogue.
  • New myCEDA services launched to replace old BADC and NEODC systems.
  • Poppy Townsend joins CEDA.
  • JASMIN Phase 2 becomes operational.
  • Highlights published in CEDA annual report 2013-14.



    • New CEDA website launched.


    • Bryan Lawrence promoted to NCAS Director of Models and Data at the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Professor of Weather and Climate Computing at the University of Reading, while remaining the Director of CEDA.
    • UKSSDC (UK Solar System Data Centre) becomes part of the CEDA Group. UKSSDC staff are: Matthew Wild, Sarah James and Steve Crothers.
    • New WPS service launched.
    • BADC CMIP5 Gateway launched.
    • Demonstration of the new CEDA Science Visualisation Service for Earth Observation (SVSeo) at the launch of the new International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC).
    • Esther Conway joins the CEDA Team.


    • User Survey 2010.
    • Eyjafjallajokull eruption in April - volcanic ash cloud data collected and distributed by the BADC.
    • ERA-Interim data archive available from BADC.
    • Maurizio Nagmi joins the CEDA Team as a software developer.
    • Eduardo Damasio Da Costa joins the CEDA Team.
    • Daniel Hagon leaves the BADC.
    • Jurgen Reinecke leaves the BADC.


    • Belinda Robinson leaves the BADC.
    • Daniel Hagon joins the BADC as the Data Storage Administrator.
    • Jurgen Reinecke joins the BADC as a member of the Science Support group.


    • CEDA Repository launched.
    • Rob Harper leaves the BADC.
    • Anne de Rudder leaves the BADC Science Support group.
    • Julian Hill leaves the BADC Research team.
    • Spiros Ventouras replaces Charles Kilburn as a member of the Science Support group.
    • Sue Latham leaves the BADC Development team.
    • Sarah Callaghan joins the BADC.


    • On 1 April 2007 the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) merged to form the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
    • Graham Parton joins the BADC Team.
    • Julian Hill joins the BADC Research group.
    • John Good leaves the BADC.
    • User Survey 2007.
    • The data extractor is updated to support Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    • Data Extractor available for MIDAS Surface Data.
    • The BADC took over the hosting of the IPCC Data Distribution Centre Website.
    • New MIDAS Station Search Engine released at the BADC.



    • Rob Harper joins the BADC as the data storage administrator.
    • Charles Kilburn joins the BADC.
    • The BADC and NEODC groups join forces. NEODC staff are: Matt Pritchard, Steve Donegan and Victoria Jay.
    • Bryan Lawrence promoted to role of "Director of the CCLRC Environmental Data Archival and Associated Research" (CEDAR) programme.
    • The BADC now holds 116 datasets, with the NEODC holding a further 11.
    • The BADC is authorised by the European Space Agency to archive and distribute data from 4 Envisat instruments (MIPAS, SCIAMACHY, GOMOS, MERIS ) to ESA Category 1 grant holders, in addition to UTLS and CWVC participants.
    • The BADC holds two workshops and several poster sessions at the Royal Meteorological Society Conference in September.


    • The BADC archives and distributes data collected onboard the NERC/MO jointly run FAAM aircraft, which had it's first flight in March, 2004.
    • The BADC has moved from a system based primarily on a central multiprocessor Compaq-Alpha (tornado) to a distributed system based on multiple linux platforms and network attached storage. Total disk storage is currently about 30 TB. Computer Configuration in May 2004
    • New BADC data extractor launched for beta testing.
    • Approximately 750 users registered with the BADC to August 2004, giving a total of 5000 registered users.
    • The BADC now holds over 95 different datasets .
    • Phil Kershaw joins the BADC team as a software engineer.
    • John Good joins the BADC team.
    • Belinda Robinson replaces Mila de Vere on the BADC Helpdesk.
    • Dominic Lowe joins the BADC working on the NERC Datagrid project.
    • Stephen Pascoe joins the BADC working as a Data scientist for


    • New user query management system (Footprints) implemented.
    • Ag Stephens appointed BADC-Met Office Coordinator.
    • Alison Pamment joins the BADC Research team.
    • Dr Wendy Garland joins the BADC team.
    • Mila de Vere joins the BADC team.


    • Following recommendations from the Research Council Quinquennial Review, the BADC becomes part of the NERC Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the BADC Steering committee is dissolved.
    • Archive for the ECMWF Re-Analyses (40 years) is set up.
    • The BADC now holds over 70 different datasets (approx. 3520 Gigabytes)
    • 1850 users registered their details with the BADC to March 2002. 191 queries have been serviced from January 2002 to March 2002.
    • Work on the Live-Access Server (LAS) facility is under way. this facility will allow users to visualize and subset data via their web browser. This will make possible for users to examine data interactively at BADC without having to download large amounts of data.
    • e-Science grant awarded for the NERC DataGrid (NDG)
    • New BADC website launched in April.
    • Sue Latham joins the BADC team.
    • Marta Gutierrez joins the BADC team.
    • Charlotte Pascoe joins the BADC as an atmospheric modeller. In December Charlotte was awarded her PhD in meteorology from the University of Leeds.


    • NERC Quinquennial Review.
    • BADC funded research scientists join forces with the AMDI group, headed by Dr Lesley Gray.
    • The BADC gets involved in E-Science projects.
    • COAPEC and Chilbolton data being archived at the BADC.
    • Dr Martin Juckes joins the BADC research team.
    • Dr Alan Iwi joins the BADC research team.
    • Ag Stephens joins the BADC.
    • Anne De Rudder becomes the BADC science programme manager and Andrew Harwood the BADC system manager.


    • The BADC takes over the development and maintenance of CAST, from the University of Leeds.
    • 15th June 2000: Press release "One Thousand Users for National Database of Atmospheric and Weather Data"
    • BADC Five Year Review (October 2000) - future plans outlined in review document are endorsed.
    • User Survey 2000.
    • File ingestor in full operation allowing for UTLS and URGENT (NERC thematic programmes) data files to populate the archive. Unified Model data being archived at the BADC, ESA Water vapour, Meteosat images.
    • Registered BADC users increased to 1300. Over 700 of the 1300 registered users made use of the BADC and together downloaded around 0.5Tbyte of data. 590 substantial user queries serviced this year.
    • Dr Bryan Lawrence joins the BADC as Head of the BADC.
    • Dr Kevin Marsh and Chris Harrold join the BADC.


    • Launch of the BADC new web site (with frames), including the new BADC Trajectory service, Met Office stations catalogue, Datasets catalogue and a browsing archive facility.
    • Press release in NERC News magazine (Spring 1999 issue), "Harnessing Meteorological data".
    • Discussions with the Met Office on archiving the UM data at BADC.
    • Explosion in data archive holdings: GOME, virtem, MRF, ozone climatology, worldwide standard radiosonde data, UK high resolution radiosonde data, Met Office Hadley Centre data including GISST and CET , ECMWF trajectory data, Met Office raingauge data from MIDAS, SOAPEX, etc...
    • new UNIX server installed in December 1999 to replace 2 old aging servers (Compaq ES 40, dual alpha 500)
    • Tape robot using AIT-2 tapes (6Tb capacity) installed.
    • With the availability of Met Office data, a surge in BADC users registration is observed (from 630 to 967). Currently, the increase rate is 2.25 new registered users on average per working day (over the 5 past months). 440 substantial user queries serviced this year.
    • Sam Pepler becomes the BADC project manager following Simon Williams' departure.
    • Anne de Rudder joins the BADC.


    • The NERC Data Policy Handbook, version 2.0:Version 2.0, issued in February 1998 was intended for the entire NERC environmental sciences community, whether in NERC Centres, Surveys and Institutes or in Academia.
    • Annual Report submitted to NERC Atmospheric Science and Technology Board (ASTB), following which the ASTB "considered it (the BADC) now provided a superb service and great benefit to the community, largely due to effective management".
    • Electronic links directly into ECMWF and UKMO archives.
    • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Open Days in July 1998.
    • Registered BADC users increased from 460 to 630. 340 substantial user queries serviced.
    • ACSOE first data files arrive at the BADC.
    • Anabelle Menochet and Andrew Harwood join the BADC. BADC Staff


    • Following the NERC-UKMO agreement, upper air and surface data from the Met Office are being archived at the BADC together with the ECMWF operational analyses (approx. 697GigaBytes)
    • CDROM juke box allowing cdrom browsing service over the web is installed.
    • Registered BADC users increased from 300 to 460. 243 substantial user queries serviced.
    • Chunkey Lepine and Andy Smith leave the BADC.


    • The NERC Data Policy Handbook, version 1.0:Version 1.0, issued in January 1996 was intended primarily for NERC staff. It was nevertheless distributed quite widely beyond this readership. The document provides guidance on the implementation of NERC's Data Policies.
    • The NERC - UKMO Data Agreement:A formal agreement was reached between the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Met Office in which all future requests to the Met Office for data intended for NERC-funded atmospheric research will be coordinated by the BADC. This arrangement avoids duplicate requests for data. A strategy of bulk purchasing is in place, benefiting the wider research community in the long term. The BADC pro-actively organises the bulk acquisition of popular datasets. Examples include ECMWF model analyses and Met Office upper-air and surface data.
    • Annual Report submitted to NERC Atmospheric Science and Technology Board (ASTB), following which the ASTB "noted the superb productivity of the BADC, in particular the increased growth in the usage of its products"
    • The ERA-15 archive is being stored at the BADC.
    • The VAX machine is replaced by a UNIX server.
    • Number of registered users reached 200.
    • Dr Lesley Gray becomes Head of BADC and Simon Williams joins the BADC as Project Scientist.
    • Sam Pepler joins the BADC - Deborah Miles at JCMM to extract Met Office data on behalf of the BADC.


    • In April 1994, the GDF becomes the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC), the NERC Designated Data Centre for the Atmospheric Sciences.
    • The BADC is "Meeting the data requirements of the NERC Atmospheric Science Community"
    • Dr Peter Allan becomes Project Manager of BADC, working jointly with Dr Lesley Gray, project scientist. Peter Chiu also joins the BADC.


    • Following a radical restructuring of the Research Councils, SERC is replaced by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences research Council).
    • Funding for the GDF is now from NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council.
    • First Edition of the GDF Newsletter (February 1993)


    • New datasets archived at the GDF comprise TOMS, EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter radar), ATSR, ISAMS and MLS on UARS.
    • High-speed transatlantic link has become available and is being used by RAL mainly for data transfer from the UARS Central Data Handling Facility at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
    • GDF now serves over 135 users from 22 university departments, 11 other British institutes and 5 overseas laboratories.


    • More improvement to the user interface. Data is selected by logging on the dedicated GDF Computer at RAL and compiling a request for data with the help of a menu system. This is designed to be as straightforward and user friendly as possible. Extensive 'help' information has also been compiled for each data set.
    • Novice Guide leaflet produced to help new users.
    • New datasets archived include the MST radar data, the Cambridge "D computer model output and 3 NASA aircraft campaigns which studies ozone depletion processes (AAOE, AASE).


    • Data now available from the GDF include ground-based and satellite observations from the UK and abroad as well as modelling results from intercomparison and testing measurements. The datasets now include in-situ space plasma data from AMPTE and stratospheric results from SAMS (Stratospheric And Mesospheric Sounder), LIMS and SSU (Stratospheric Sounder Unit) and output from thermospheric and atmospheric models. Solar terrestrial data from the World Data Centre at RAL are also accessible through the GDF environment.
    • The GDF hardware now include an optical disk "Juke box" capable of providing rapid access to 40Gbyte of data on a dedicated MicroVAX 3900 cluster (running VMS) in addition to the central computing facilities at RAL.
    • Andy Smith joins the GDF.


    • The general interface to the GDF is improved considerably primarily to help and encourage users. By providing cross links to other geophysical datasets at RAL, datasets from different sources can be readily combined. High level command instructions and graph plotting routines are now also available to aid data manipulation.
    • LIMS data on NIMBUS-7 is acquired.


    • Funded by the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), theGeophysical Data Facility (GDF), based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), is established .
    • The GDF was "Designed to meet the data requirements of the Atmospheric Sciences and Solar Terrestrial Physics communities".
    • The GDF main aim is to facilitate data exchange to ease the problem of magnetic tape handling which is becoming a severe burden. During the year, data from the NIMBUS series of satellites and Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer (AMPTE) have been consolidated into databases on the IBM central computer. These include measured values of temperature of the middle atmosphere and of density, temperature, pressure and energy spectra of electrons and ions in the magnetosphere.
    • A user at a remote site can access catalogues of the data holdings, select data of interest and transfer these to his own installation via JANET. High speed data links have been installed between RAL and the University of Oxford and University College London as steps towards upgrading JANET to cater for the expected growth in high data rate exchange.
    • Dr Lesley Gray is the Head of the GDF.Mr Chunkey Lepine is the Facility Manager.


    • An Advisory Panel (of representatives from a wide range of interested institutions and universities) is set up to oversee the development of the Geophysical Data Facility (GDF) and a number of pilot studies are being undertaken. The GDF is to be set-up to organise and provide access to data from many Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) Geophysical experiments in the Middle Atmosphere, Climate, Solar Terrestrial and Planetary research.