By Gabriel Agbeja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on Wednesday signed a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Earth Networks, U.S. to advance weather observation across the globe.
NiMet`s Director-General, Prof. Mansur Matazu said the purpose of the MOU was to enter into a mutual beneficial collaboration for Network and Data Services Agreement between the two organisations.
According to him, the realisation of the MOU is preceded by a formal request for collaboration from Earth Networks Inc. by its International Director, Mr Ari Davidou through a draft MoU to the Agency.
“Earth Networks (EN) developed a lightning detection and surface weather monitoring technology that detects a large portion of in-cloud (IC) and Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning.
“EN utilises data to enhance weather forecast and enable its proprietary products known as dangerous ‘Thunderstorm Alerts’ and pulse raid respectively.
”EN also produces and delivers high resolution proof forecasts known as ENcast and other derivative products.
“ NiMet desires to improve its high impact weather forecasting capacity through the utilisation of total lightening data and latest point forecasting techniques to provide related services to its customers and stakeholders,“ he said.
Matazu said the objective of the collaboration was to support the capacity of NiMet to further develop its service delivery through working together to deploy EN Stations in various locations.
He said that the move would contribute to the Nigeria Total Lightning and Mesoscale AWS Network (NTLMAN) and enable EN forecasting services (ENcast).
According to him, through the collaboration, NiMet will be able to access EN data for its internal use and public display in degraded form and to resell sensor data and derivative works to its customers.
“Therefore, NiMet and EN will collaborate to jointly deploy and operate the NTLMAN and distribute data and derivative services within Nigeria.
“ This partnership will lead to a wide base of internally generated revenue for the agency with the provision of needed services to various sectors of the economy.
“The MOU is for five years from the date of execution and may be renewed at its expiration for another term of five years on terms to be mutually agreed by the parties, “ he said.
Matazu said that terms of the MOU included clearly defined objectives, scope and obligations of the parties.
He said that other terms included realisation of revenue through deployment of EN Sensors in Nigeria which would lead to the sale of processed data and derivative works such as NiMet sales of EN processed Data in Nigeria.
Others are NiMet sales of Derivative Works in Nigeria, EN sales of NiMet Derivative Works based on the processed data developed by NiMet under the project.
“ In furtherance of the MOU, EN has already shipped some equipment to NiMet at no commercial value to it, “ he said.
The director-general said the EN Sensors would be installed at NiMet facilities and partner institutions in Nigeria in the implementation of the MOU to enhance the quality of the data set required to fulfil their respective missions.
Matazu expressed optimism that the collaboration would help NiMet to improve its services to various stakeholders in different sectors for which it had the statutory mandate to render its services in Nigeria.
“We are a Federal Government agency charged with the responsibility to advise the Federal Government on all aspects of meteorology, project; prepare and interpret government policy in the field of meteorology.
“Also to issue weather (and climate) forecasts for safe operation of aircrafts, ocean going vessels and oil rigs and other socioeconomic sectors including disaster risk reduction.
“ Our responsibility is to observe, collate, collect, process and disseminate meteorological data within and outside Nigeria; co-ordinate research activities among staff, publish scientific papers in various branches of meteorology in support of sustainable socio-economic activities in Nigeria.“
Earlier, Prof. Jim Anderson, Vice President of Global Sales, Advanced Environmental Monitoring (AEM) in his remarks, said Public Private Partnership was sure way to enhance national infrastructure, capacity and sustainability in severe Weather Early Warning.
Anderson said the MOU would definitely improve weather observation and lightning networks across the globe.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Earth Networks is part of the AEM and it operates weather observation and lightning networks in the U. S. Europe and internationally.
It gathers, analyses, and distributes environmental observations from around the world to help promote a better understanding of the planet and its atmosphere.
The company’s products and services include forecasting, LCD weather display, GIS data services, data feed, meteorological, online weather, plume modeling, lightning network, weather stations, dangerous thunderstorm alerts.
Others are weather monitoring and alerting, atmospheric data, and risk notification systems; and weather cameras.
It serves various industries such as agriculture, education, energy and utilities, media, sports and recreation, electric power, and transportation; and federal, state, and local emergency response and government agencies, clubs, societies, consumers, and organizations.
The company, which was founded in 1993, was formerly known as AWS Convergence Technologies, Inc. and changed its name to Earth Networks, Inc. in January 2011. (NAN)