FIRST TWIGA GPS NETWORK DEPLOYED IN UGANDA
TWIGA successfully established the first low-cost GNSS network in Africa, that will be used to continuously measure the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. This information will allow improving forecasts of extreme weather events, such as cloudbursts and thunderstorms.
GPS stations deployed at fixed locations can be used to measure the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (low-cost GPS for rain forecasts).
Water vapor is a crucial parameter to improve weather forecasts and the availability of low-cost receivers has made it possible to observe such parameter in areas where expansive geodetic GPS networks are not available.
At the end of 2019, TWIGA shipped 6 low-cost GPS stations to Uganda. These were deployed in and around Kampala by Makerere University, with the support of GReD, PoliMi and TU Delft. The pictures below show some of the deployment activities.
One of the 6 low-cost GPS stations deployed by TWIGA near Kampala
The next step involves the shipment and deployment of 9 more TWIGA stations in Kenya. In that case, the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) will collaborate with GReD and PoliMi for the selection of suitable sites and for the deployment activities.
The data collected by the two networks will fill the gap of water vapor observations in the two sub-Saharan countries.
TWIGA will experiment with the assimilation of such observations within NWP models as well as their integration Copernicus SAR images to produce high-resolution water vapor maps.
Written by Eugenio Realini
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No.776691. The opinions expressed on the web page are of the authors only and no way reflect the European Commission’s opinions. The European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information.