The SoDa project - Important dates

The SoDa project

Proposal Number: IST-1999-12245 Version 2
Acronym: SoDa
Title: SoDa. Integration and exploitation of networked Solar radiation Databases for environment monitoring
Key Action: KA I
Action line: 1.1.2.-1.5.1
Dates: 2000-March 2003
Detailed presentation


The project SoDa answers the needs of industry and research for information on solar radiation parameters with a satisfactory quality. The methodology is user-driven with a large involvement of users in the project. A prototype service will be developed that will integrate and efficiently exploit diverse networked information sources to supply value-added information in a selected number of environmental applications. The information sources also include application-specific user-oriented numerical models and advanced algorithms. Algorithms based on innovative techniques in data fusion, data mining, data processing, and data assimilation in numerical models have been developed and tested to supply value-added information on solar radiation. The service has been validated through users trials, and its benefits were assessed. The project SoDa focuses on several applications in environment and connected domains: air quality in cities, vegetation, coastal zones, energy-conscious building design and daylighting, and industrial use of renewable energies.


  • to answer the needs for high quality customer-tailored information on solar radiation to integrate diverse sources of information presently available separately within a smart integrating network to develop and operate a prototype service, which efficiently exploits this smart network, and which will be used and gauged by selected users to increase the quality of the delivered information through improved modelling of time and space structures of the solar radiation, and improved matching to actual customer needs
  • to disseminate the achievements of the project, and assess the sustainability of a permanent commercial service


A multi-disciplinary consortium has been assembled, which gathers companies and researchers with the necessary expertise in solar radiation and information and communications technologies. Customers and potential users are also represented as partners in the consortium via the involvement of commercial private vendors of solar radiation databases and of representatives of large international or local environmental research and development programs.

  1. ARMINES (administrative co-ordinator) France
  2. MINES ParisTech - ARMINES - Centre Energétique et Procédés - Groupe Observation Modélisation et Décision (scientific co-ordinator) France
  3. MINES ParisTech - Les Presses MINES ParisTech France
  4. European Commission - Joint Research Centre Italy
  5. Meteorologiai Szolgalat - Meteorological Satellites Dpt Hungary
  6. METEOTEST Switzerland
  7. Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg Faculty of Physics Germany
  8. ICONS Srl Italy
  9. University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology - Department of Physics United Kingdom
  10. Università degli Studi di Genova - Dipartimento di Fisica Italy
  11. CNRS - ENTPE - Département Génie Civil et Bâtiment France
  12. Fraunhofer - Institut fuer Solare Energiesysteme (ISE) Germany

List of the providers in the SoDa Service at the end of the European project in 2003

Important dates

  • July 2023: SoDa unit joined the Finnish company Vaisala Oyj and develop a new generation of solutions.
  • March 2021: Hiring of a new IT engineer to support services developments.
  • January and February 2021: Organization of our 9th solar training hold online through a dozen of webinar sessions.
  • October 2020: First time SoDa team is attending Agrivoltaics online event. It was the opportunity to present our Photosynthetically Active Radiation service.
  • September 2020: Release of a new service "Anomalies Maps" providing solar radiation and meteorological maps showing the difference and the variability of a defined period in comparison to the long-term average.
  • June 2020: Improvement of our new service of solar radiation forecast based on Artificial Intelligence, and optimization of the HelioClim-3 requests with meteo data as well as the speed of SoDa services.
  • March 2020: Speed and quality improvements of our HelioClim-3 services such as archives, real time, and solar radiation forecast based on Artificial Intelligence.
  • January 2020: Organization of our 8th solar training in O.I.E research center of Mines ParisTech facilities.
  • December 2019: Start of the beta testing phase of our new service "Helioclim-3 AI Forecast", a prevision service for today/tomorrow based on Artificial Intelligence. Also, participation of the team to Energaïa, European renewable energy forum based in Montpellier, France.
  • June 2019: Hiring of a person in charge of the marketing, communication and preparation of commercial events to present SoDa products and services.
  • May 2019: HelioClim-3 real time irradiation geo-referenced maps are now available.
  • October 2018: HelioClim-3 version 5 web service for today is now available. Also, the spectral service delivering UV and PAR radiation data were improved to support current day requests. It is also possible to deliver real time maps of spectral radiation on demand.
  • September 2018: HelioClim-3 version 5 real time service is improved and can forecast the solar radiation data to the end of the day using CAMS and GFS meteorological models. This service uses the Persistence Forecast methodology. Also, Photosynthetically Active Radiation from HelioClim-3 is now available to download from our spectral radiation web service.
  • June 2018: Hiring of a solar forecast engineer to develop solar radiation forecast services.
  • June 2018: McClear, CAMS Radiation and Helioclim-3 version 5 services now use aerosols, ozone and water vapor computed by the C-IFS meteorological model from ECMWF.
  • March 2018: Improvement of the snow depth values for MERRA-2 and GFS weather services.
  • February 2018: Meteosat-11 satellite replaced Meteosat-10 as the prime Meteosat satellite.
  • October 2017: Update of CAMS McClear version 3 that improves space and time resolutions as well as using less memory. Also, update of CAMS Radiation service using McClear clear sky model version 3 and using an empirical bias correction algorithm to improve irradiation and clearness index data.
  • September 2017: HelioClim-3 solar radiation time series now includes meteo data from MERRA-2 in the same file.
  • July 2017: GFS weather forecast service providing meteo (temperature, pressure, humidity, wind, rainfall, …) time series worldwide from a month ago up to day +3 is available. Access on SoDa website and through API command.
  • May 2017: Release of new web-services delivering:
  • March 2017: AGATE (over Europe) and JADE (over Africa) solar radiation volumes of data over from CAMS Radiation database are now available for download.
  • January 2017: HelioClim-3 archives service is free from February 2004 to end of 2006. Also, a new service is available to retrieve monthly average values of irradiance, temperature and humidity.
  • September 2016: Hiring of a new developer to help in the development of the new SoDa website by populating it with new web services and creating access to the services through API automatic commands.
  • June 2016: MERRA-2 meteo service enables now to retrieve also 3 the snow depth, the snow precipitation, and the rainfalls.
  • July 2015: Hiring of a sales manager whose missions are dedicated to sales and technical support, and to the management of customer subscriptions to SoDa databases.
  • March 2015: HelioClim-3 data is now available in real time, i.e. a few minutes after Meteosat image reception. Release of HelioClim-3 real time service.
  • 2014: Creation of a web interface to MERRA (NASA) to retrieve time series of meteorological parameters, such as Temperature, Pressure, Wind direction and intensity, relative Humidity worldwide.
  • November 2014: Automatic accesses with API to solar radiation data for our customers with username and password.
  • September 2013: Release of CAMS McClear solar radiation under clear-sky conditions time series service.
  • September 2013: The free period for HelioClim-3 archives service is extended to [Feb. 2004 - 2005]
  • July 2013: Release of CAMS Radiation service solar radiation time series service.
  • May 2011: Availability of HelioClim-3 solar radiation map service in real time access.
  • February 2010: Duplication of the acquisition chain at Transvalor premises, in Mougins, France, to increase the reliability of acquisition of the images by compensating the acquisition failures of one site by the other. Until beginning of Jan. 2011, the synchronization is manual, and automatic afterwards. The whole SoDa infrastructure is available on both sites to ensure a better robustness of the service (website, automatic accesses...).
  • April 2009: Transvalor is getting involved in the industrialization of the O.I.E. outcomes in the domain of solar energy (SoDa).
  • 2003: End of the SoDa project and start of the SoDa Service (or "broker" or website).
  • 1984: Transvalor S.A. is funded, first on the FORGE activities.
  • 1978: Ecole des Mines de Paris (also named MINES ParisTech), the first of the 7 Ecoles des Mines, is founded. This is an E.P.A. (Etablissement Public à caractère administratif) dedicated to the risk in mining activities.
  • 1967: ARMINES, association law 1901 is created.