Singaporean agencies to share GNSS-derived moisture data to improve weather monitoring capabilities

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Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the use of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data to better monitor island-wide atmospheric moisture.

The five-year collaboration aims to benefit Singapore with additional data for weather monitoring, and facilitate exploratory studies for weather forecasting.

Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) routinely collects a range of observational data such as temperature, wind and moisture from ground-based and airborne sensors. At MSS’s Upper Air Observatory (UAO), sensors attached to a weather balloon are routinely released twice a day to obtain measurements of these weather elements at different heights of the atmosphere. In 2019, MSS installed a GNSS reference station at UAO to derive continuous estimates of moisture in a column of the atmosphere, known as the integrated precipitable water vapor, to supplement the sounding data obtained from the weather balloon.

Under the MoU, MSS’s GNSS station will be integrated into SLA’s Singapore Satellite Reference Network (SiReNT), enabling MSS to obtain island-wide, continuous and near-real-time atmospheric moisture readings. This non-conventional moisture data will augment MSS’s existing observation network data, providing higher resolution and more frequent observation data, which allows for investigative studies into potential applications for weather forecasting.

The collaboration will also expand SLA’s SiReNT station network, which currently comprises nine reference stations spread across Singapore. With the addition of NEA’s GNSS base receiver station at UAO that will be incorporated into SiReNT, together with two upcoming additional coastal SiReNT reference stations, the network will be expanded to 12 stations with additional receivable data. The SiReNT technology supports innovation in diverse industries such as autonomous vehicles, construction automation and logistics, and monitoring of land height and sea-level changes in Singapore. The expansion of stations by the end of 2022 will improve stability for services and applications in various key industries currently supported by SiReNT.

Luke Goh, CEO of NEA, said, “The collaboration between NEA and SLA highlights our commitment to achieve synergies and tap into enablers across the public sector. This partnership provides a platform for NEA to utilize SLA’s expertise in GNSS data collection and processing, enabling NEA to explore non-traditional methods to enhance our weather monitoring and forecasting capabilities.”

Colin Low, CEO of SLA, said, “This collaboration with NEA is part of SLA’s continuous effort to work with parties from the private and public sectors to unlock diverse uses for SiReNT and SLA’s many geospatial products. We believe that by pooling expertise from various parties we can spark more innovation and uncover practicable solutions that can benefit Singapore and our industries. We are excited to work with NEA to study the novel use of SiReNT data for enhanced weather monitoring and investigative studies in weather forecasting and climate change. The many experiences shared and gained from this collaboration will be a building block for future innovations in this field.”

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Dan first joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As editor, he now produces content for Meteorological Technology International, unearthing the latest technological advances and research methods for the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest meteorological news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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