High Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction Project
Website of the ALADIN Consortium
Short history of the project
Article published on 21 August 2002
last modification on 12 August 2016

by Patricia

Only the main events are mentioned here, relative to the political, financial and technical aspects.

  • November 1990 : Météo-France offers the NMSs of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to jointly develop and maintain a LAM version of the ARPEGE system, with a view to a mutually beneficial collaboration in NWP and mesoscale modelling.
  • January 1991 : The so-called MICECO support (from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the visits to Toulouse of the specialists of the partner NMSs) that will be the continuous and main source of financing during the first years of the project is acquired.
  • March 1991 : In Paris, three scientists from the NMSs of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania develop the feasibility study of the proposed common project.
    Vlad (Ro), Radmila (Cz), Jean-François (Fr), Dezso (Hu)
  • September 1991 : Start of the active phase of the project in Toulouse : Slovakia declines the offer to participate but, meanwhile, Austria, through what will be the RC-LACE endeavour, joins in. Thus, 17 people from seven countries start to work on the project LAM-ARPEGE (that will be renamed ALADIN one month later). A "cahier des charges" for the ALADIN project is established.
  • March 1992 : First scientifical report on the "ALADIN" current work and on its perspectives.
  • August 1992 : The French Ministry for Research accepts to finance four Ph.D grants in the framework of the ALADIN project. These would allow the scope of the project to be enlarged by studying basic questions related to its usefulness and further evolution.
  • October 1992 : Cycle 0 of the ALADIN library is declared.
  • January 1993 : The Commission of the European Communities selects the pre-operational work on ALADIN as one of the subjects financed under the so-called PECO action, in a competitive context (1 over 35).
  • November 1993 : The NMSs of Morocco, Slovakia and Slovenia join the project. The nine partners carry on the efforts towards a first quasi-operational implementation in Toulouse for the benefit of the central and eastern European NMSs.
  • May 1994 : The work of the seven members of the PECO-financed pre-operational team (with the additional contributions of the Ph.D. students and an established team of Météo-France scientists) leads to a successful conclusion. ALADIN becomes quasi-operational on Météo-France’s C98 computer on 31 May (other important event on 31 May). Although the application is run only once a day (in sequential mode with respect to ARPEGE), up to 36 hours only and without a specific data-assimilation cycle, proof of the wisdom of the concept is nevertheless at hand. The scientific status of this first quasi-operational version of ALADIN was presented during the second meeting of the LACE steering committee (Bratislava, 29-30/06/94)
  • April 1995 : The NMSs of Croatia and Spain (the latter will later leave) join the project.
  • December 1995 : A workstation version is built (still in dead-branch mode with respect to the development cycles) by the SELAM group (NMSs of Bulgaria and Romania). This work also prepares the way for the distributed-memory version of ALADIN foreseen for cycles 6 and 7 of the library.
  • January 1996 : RC-LACE and Météo-France sign an agreements to use the J916/12 computer in Toulouse as host for an ALADIN-LACE pre-operational application from 1 July 1996 to 31 December 1997 in order to provide a transition for the build-up of the central European joint application of ALADIN between the six contributing NMSs.
  • February 1996 : The success of the first Ph.D. phase (two theses already defended and two about to be defended) leads the French Ministry for Research to renew the grant. Five new Ph.Ds are thus in the pipeline.
  • March-August 1996 : In a form of cascade, the four applications start their cycle of pre-operational to operational status : ALADIN-MAROC and ALADIN-FRANCE (in March), ALADIN-LACE in Toulouse (in July), ALADIN-ROMANIA (in August).
  • October 1996 : The NMS of Belgium join the project .
  • November 1996 : In Paris, during the 1st Assembly of ALADIN Partners, the Directors of the ALADIN partner NMSs sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalizes and regulates the further progress of the project, in the presence of the Secretary-General of WMO, Prof. G.O.P. Obasi, and the French Ministery of Transports, Mr. B. Pons.
  • February 1997 : A quasi-operational status is given to ALADIN/SLOVENIA model.
  • March 1997 : The Czech NMS launches a computer ITT with the aim of transferring the central European application from Toulouse.
  • April 1997 : The NMS of Portugal join the project.
  • July 1997 : NEC supercomputer is chosen for the ALADIN-LACE application in Prague.
  • October 1997 : The Aladin WOrkstation Coordination group is created with main topics the portability of the ALADIN code on different platforms and the problems linked to the operational implementations.
  • November 1997: After nearly one year work, ALADIN-BELGIUM is fully operational.
  • February-March 1998 : The workstation version ALADIN/HUNGARY is put into quasi-operational regime and every day ALADIN-POLAND runs are completed in Cracow.
  • March 1998 : The former surface parametrization is replaced by a more realistic one ("ISBA"). Besides its scientific aspects, this change is a real challenge as it needs a simultaneous switch in the ARPEGE suite and in all the operational or pre-operational ALADIN suites.
  • April 1998 : The Hydrometeo Service of Moldova joins the project.
  • June 1998 : ALADIN-LACE quits Toulouse and starts its new life in Prague and ALADIN-FRANCE moves to the Futjitsu VPP and became fully operational on that occasion.
  • November 1998 : A new version of the MoU is accepted during the 3rd Assembly of Partners that mainly precises the access to the ALADIN code (in relation with the agreement between ECMWF and Météo-France for the access and the use of ARPEGE/IFS). A 3-headed team is created to coordinate the exchanges and collect proposals about the second medium term 1999-2001 research plan for ALADIN.
  • Last quarter of 1998 : The workstation versions ALADIN/AUSTRIA, ALADIN/BULGARIA, ALADIN/PORTUGAL and ALADIN/SLOVAKIA go in pre-operational mode.
  • From March 1999 to May 1999 : ALADIN/POLAND, ALADIN/AUSTRIA, ALADIN/SLOVAKIA and ALADIN/BULGARIA become operational
  • March 2000 : Start of the EU-financed Research Training Network named ALATNET : this network, relying on five ALADIN centers (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Hungary and Slovenia), is aiming at a widened spectrum of activities for the whole project.
  • April 2000 : ALADIN/PORTUGAL runs operationaly
  • October 2000 : ALADIN-CROATIA reaches a pre-operational status
  • 31 May 2001 :
    • the second ALADIN Memorandum of Understanding is signed by 15 Partners on May 31st; main changes are an enlarged definition of the ALADIN partnership, more precise guidelines for the commercial use of ALADIN products, stricter rules for the registration of the manpower dedicated to ALADIN and the creation of a Technical Cooperation Standing Committee (TCSC) of four members in charge of the routine project coordination.
    • The Institut National de Météorologie of Tunisia joins the project.
    • ALADIN has its booklet !
    • The ALADIN 10-years anniversary is celebrated in Paris : a great day ...
  • September 2001 : ALADIN/TUNISIA runs pre-operationaly in Toulouse
  • January 2002 : African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) stressed its wish to be somehow associated to the ALADIN consortium. This was disscused on 6th Assembly of ALADIN Partners, where also the Third Medium Term Reasearch Plan (2002-2004) was proposed. A group of Coordinators for Scientfic and Strategic Issues (CSSI) was established which has a permanent core of six persons.
  • March 2002 : ALADIN-CROATIA runs operationaly.