What is the VRE?

“VRE” refers to the “Virtual Research Environment” developed for ESA’s Swarm mission. This is a cloud service to enable easy usage of Swarm data, based on the open source Jupyter technology.

JupyterLab runs in the cloud and enables you to login and run code directly through a web browser without any software needing to be installed on your machine. Data and software are all stored and executed in the cloud. We provide a curated Python environment (i.e. a collection of installed packages) to support scientific activities related to Swarm, with the aim of reliably and easily sharing code between users and stimulating the development of open source software related to Swarm.

Architecture of VirES & VRE

Swarm data can be explored graphically through the web client (, or programmatically through JupyterLab (via the Python package, viresclient). Both approaches access the VirES server which provides more convenient data access than by working with the original data files directly. These systems will be further integrated in the future.


Getting access

The service is free to all, but you must first create a VirES account at You can then access the VRE right away, either from the top pane of the VirES GUI (click on your username at the top right), or directly at To start using viresclient to access Swarm data, see the introductory notebook.