The National, Monday July 15th, 2013
THE National Weather Service has entered clear skies with the setting of a K118,000 state-of-the-art very short aperture terminal (VSAT) telecommunications system from the United States.
The system, set up by local company NISMS PNG became operational last Monday and would be officially launched on Friday.
Another local company, Lucid Technologies PNG, set up the proxy server and internal local area network connections, which will allow staff to have satellite access to real-time weather conditions in the country and around the world.
Weather service acting director Jimmy Gomoga said it was the biggest breakthrough in the history of the organisation.
Gomoga is working on setting up a new weather service that will provide real-time weather conditions in Papua New Guinea using the new facilities.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “We have dreamed about this becoming a reality. We are all quite excited.
“It’s the greatest breakthrough for us, communication-wise. The information will be readily available to the people, government departments and agencies and the private sector.
“It will help our people during national disasters. It will help us give real-time weather in a shorter period of time.”
Gomoga said the new system would give Port Moresby direct access to major global weather data centres in Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, USA, Germany and Russia.
He said previously, the weather service used an internet service provider in Port Moresby, however, high costs and limited access forced them to seek VSAT services.
“Because of the nature of our work, we decided to find alternative ways of direct communication and direct satellite links.
“The system is very stable and we have direct support from the USA,” Gomoga said.
“Ninety percent of the work we do is community-oriented, while 10% is with the aviation industry.”
“We have two months of free internet and unlimited downloads. It’s a very good system.”
Gomoga said the new system would allow the service to provide information services to government departments and agencies, as well as the private sector.
He said there were two main reasons for bringing in the new system.
“Firstly, the nature of our work where we wanted a dedicated communication system, and secondly, at reasonable cost,” he said.
“We will only pay K10, 000 a month with unlimited downloads, whereas previously, we paid about K15, 000 a month with limited downloads.
“We will be able to send information direct to our clients and the general public.
“Ninety percent of the work we do is community-oriented, while 10% is with the aviation industry.