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TSP PACIFIC - PRESENTATION. Second CBS/GCOS Expert Meeting on Coordination of the GSN and GUAN Asheville, September 2005. Betio Atoll & Lagoon, Tarawa, Kiribati. Presenter. Garry Clarke International Operations Manager Communications expert PI-GCOS. MetService, Wellington, NZ.

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Tsp pacific presentation

Second CBS/GCOS Expert Meeting on Coordination of the GSN and GUAN

Asheville, September 2005

Betio Atoll & Lagoon, Tarawa, Kiribati


  • Garry Clarke

  • International Operations Manager

  • Communications expert PI-GCOS

MetService, Wellington, NZ

Presentation outline
Presentation Outline

  • Organizational structure

  • Program activities

  • Completed and planned work (including site visits)

  • Problems and solutions

  • Performance metrics

  • Inspections and calibrations

  • Equipment

  • Site meta-data

  • RS-92 issues

  • Better than before

Proton training,

Galapagos Is.

Organizational structure tsp
Organizational Structure - TSP



TSP Countries



MS Op. Data Gateway


Remote & in-country support



Mng. & Reporting

Archive & Monitoring

Intl Ops Manager


Operational things

Faulty messages



Manual fix

Lots !


Global Distribution Op. Data

Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu


Countries provided for guan gsn

Cook Islands




Papua New Guinea

Solomon Islands

Tokelau Islands




Countries provided for – GUAN, GSN

Penrhyn Radar (28 years old)

Tsp countries
TSP Countries

Comparative distance – Los Angeles to Washington


Papua New Guinea


Tokelau Is.

Solomon Islands



Cook Is




Pitcairn Island

Upper air stations in tsp countries
Upper air stations in TSP Countries



Active, may stop soon



US DOE ARM Project


Momote (Manus Is)



Papua New Guinea

Solomon Islands

Port Moresby


Tokelau Is.






Cook Is






Pitcairn Island

Stations provided for guan gsn
Stations provided for – GUAN, GSN

Active GUAN

All GSN except Bauerfield

Silent GUAN

Program activities
Program activities

  • Routine GUAN stn visits – Tarawa, Funafuti

  • Fault mtce visits (3 allowed – none needed so far)

  • GUAN stn supply ground equipment consumables

  • GUAN stn – supply technical spares

  • GUAN stn – reimburse local expenses as agreed

  • GSN stn – establish inspectors kits

  • GSN stn – inspections costs, in-country, kit recal. Db.

  • Reserve funds – GUAN spares, other agreed activity

  • Program management and administration

Routine fault guan station visits
Routine / Fault GUAN station visits

  • Present programme allows for one routine visit to Tarawa and Funafuti

  • Both will be completed in May / June by engineers

  • Three fault maintenance visits budgeted (VCP requirement), none needed so far.

  • One fault visit remains in budget

  • Budgeted funds for other

    two diverted (along with

    other savings) to training

    course and GUAN surveys

Penrhyn technician and “truck” (what’s left of it!)

Guan station supplies
GUAN station supplies

  • Regional spares kit established for:

    • Proton Hogen 20 generators (Depot Kit)

    • Digicora

  • Other supplies as required, as can be funded e.g.

    • Demineraliser cartridges

    • Radar thyratrons

  • Reimburse local costs

    • Nothing needed so far

Balloon release, Tarawa, Kiribati

Gsn station inspection kits
GSN Station Inspection kits

  • Designed and manufactured by MetService

  • Three kits for TSP countries to do inspections and update meta-data, check instrument serviceability

Inspectors barometer

TSP GSN Station Inspection Kit

Gsn station inspection kits1
GSN Station Inspection kits

TSP GSN Station Inspection Kit -components

Gsn station inspections
GSN Station Inspections

  • Provides for

    • Each country’s travel disbursements to do its GSN station inspections

    • Freighting the kit

    • Kit recalibration and replacement of used items

    • Entry of returned meta-data from the inspections

Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu


Program management administration
Program management & administration

  • Provides for

    • Management and administration functions that are associated with the TSP – internal and external

      • Coordination of program activities

      • Financial planning and control

      • Interactions with stakeholders

      • Performance monitoring

      • Reporting

  • Meta-data database


Penrhyn radar – WF3 prototype – supplied 1977

Completed and planned work
Completed and planned work

  • Completed work

    • Remote support to GUAN stations – many areas

    • Enhanced GUAN/GSN performance monitoring and interaction with GUAN stations when data not received (as practicable)

    • Enhancing performance metrics

    • Facilitation of GUAN messages throughput

    • In-country support under TSP for some items e.g. replacement printer Port Moresby, power supply Funafuti

    • System spares – radar thyratrons – Penrhyn (in progress)

    • Establish GSN Inspection kits

    • GSN Station inspections (in progress)

    • Establish regional spares kits

    • Construction of meta-data reporting system (in progress)

    • GUAN station surveys – Port Moresby and Honiara

    • CLIREP, inspection kit training course

    • Programme management

Completed and planned work1
Completed and planned work

  • Planned work – to 30 June 2005

    • Routine station visits – Tarawa and Funafuti (June)

    • Continue GSN station inspections

    • Complete meta-data reporting system

    • Supply thyratrons to Penrhyn

    • Provide Honiara GUAN survey report

    • Add PNG stations to performance monitoring

    • Programme management

Balloon release Port Moresby

Completed and planned work2
Completed and planned work

  • Suggested work – July 2005 – June 2006

    Subject to GCOS objectives, priorities, approvals and funding

    • Continue TSP support and extend to any new/restored GUAN stations

    • One routine visit each year to GUAN stations (technical and management)

    • If GUAN station numbers increase budget three fault trips, undertake only if needed, otherwise budget two

    • Improve communications of upper air messages

    • Enhance performance metrics – GUAN and GSN

    • Continue station inspections, filing meta-data and sending to NCDC, kit re-calibration etc

    • Identify GSN station’s needs resulting from inspections

    • Establish CLIREP in each country, as required, with one- on-one mentoring

Problems and solutions guan
Problems and solutions - GUAN

  • Problems

    • You can’t rely on countries to keep you informed

    • Programs can just stop because bills havn’t been paid and supplier has cut them off, e.g. power and communications or there are technical issues

    • Consumables run out and the program stops

    • Message preamble is faulty causing messages not to file

    • Equipment develops a fault and no-one says anything

  • Solutions

    • You must monitor stations’ output – daily if practicable

    • Ask questions if exceptions occur

    • Monitor stock holdings and request monthly stock on hand if returns aren’t routinely filed

  • Problems and solutions gsn
    Problems and solutions - GSN

    • Problems

      • You can’t rely on countries to keep you informed

      • Communications, communications, communications – many issues – radio faults, ISP problems – congested systems

  • Suspect instruments and observing practices

    • Staff performance issues

    • Message preamble is faulty causing messages not to file

  • Solutions

    • Monitor performance – impractical to do so daily

    • Improve communications systems

    • Inspect GSN stations – inspections have started

    • Advise stations of incorrect preambles

  • Performance metrics
    Performance metrics

    • We monitor station performance for GUAN and GSN in the region

    • This process has been enhanced and expanded for TSP

      • PNG, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands stations added

      • Converting monitoring GUAN termination heights from altitude to pressure

      • We are trying to develop meaningful comparisons pre / post TSP stations’


    Performance chart example

    Performance metrics guan
    Performance metrics - GUAN

    Performance chart examples

    Performance metrics gsn
    Performance metrics - GSN

    As received by MetService and compared against WMO published station reporting times

    Performance chart example

    Inspections and calibrations guan
    Inspections and calibrations - GUAN

    • Equipment is inspected routinely during GUAN station visits

    • There is a Proton calibration that station staff have been instructed in but engineers check this during visits regardless

    • No other calibrations

      are required of upper

      air equipment

    Proton training Tarawa

    Inspections and calibrations gsn
    Inspections and calibrations - GSN

    • Countries have commenced inspecting their GSN stations using TSP inspections kits

    • We believe most stations will not have been inspected in 10 years

    • Once the kits are returned and inspection data analyzed we will have

      a better idea of station

      instrument accuracies

    Instrument enclosure, Tarawa


    • Tarawa, Funafuti and Penrhyn

      • All have “new” Protons and

      • All have old Vaisala Digicora II ground stations that require upgrading to take RS-92 radiosondes

    • Port Moresby

      • Digicora I, upgraded by Bureau of Meteorology, for RS-92

      • Teledyne hydrogen generator 10 years old (an orphan)

    New hydrogen gas tanks, Tarawa


    • Bauerfield and Honiara

      • Silent stations with unserviceable M28 hydrogen generators

      • Digicora II both require repair and upgrading for RS92

    Silent Upper air station, Honiara

    Site meta data
    Site meta-data

    • GSN stations

      • Underway with inspections process and creation of a meta-data system for entering and storing data at MetService and passing to NCDC, copy to go back to country

    • GUAN stations

      • Really still to be done, but

        will by nature be less

        involved than GSN.

    Digicora testing, Bauerfield

    Rs 92 issues
    RS-92 issues

    • MetService approach to upgrading Digicoras

      • We have issued an RFP to suppliers for our own stations and will await the outcome of that before making a recommendation to the UKMO regarding upgrading at Tarawa, Funafuti and Penrhyn

      • The decision will be based on economics and include capital and consumable costs

      • MetService has budgeted for the upgrade and the UKMO has kindly agreed to fund

        through their Pacific

        Trust Fund we administer

    Digicora testing, Honiara..hot and humid – check out the shirt!

    Better than before
    Better than before

    • We need to focus on demonstrating improvements as a result of the TSP


      • Improvements to existing station performance – either better termination heights or improved numbers of flights per month

      • But…existing stations numbers of flights (maybe Tarawa excepted) are not too bad…they would be a bit worse if not for the TSP but how do you show that?

      • Bringing “silent” stations on line and lifting their performance

    Not GUAN, included as some interest has been expressed in this station. We are holding a surplus, incomplete Digicora for it, donated by UKMO

    Better than before1
    Better than before

    • We need to focus on demonstrating improvements as a result of the TSP


      • Can make some gains in going from 350gm to 700gm balloons – in progress for Tarawa and Funafuti and done for Penrhyn (not strictly ‘cos of the TSP but…)

      • Ensuring data gets to archiving centres

    Change to 700gm

    Penrhyn termination heights

    Better than before2
    Better than before

    • We need to focus on demonstrating improvements as a result of the TSP

      GSN (to the extent that this is a priority)

      • Establish CLIREP

      • Improve communications (this will show an improvement in the performance metrics)

      • Repair/replace instruments according to inspection results

      • Continue inspection programs; maybe consider providing a GSN station inspection kit for each country

    Tony Veitch and Bill Witham discussing Honiara GUAN survey with Director, Chanel Iroi