This resume highlights the current status of the satellite ground receiving
equipment at Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and various aspects of applications
of satellite technology in meteorology and hydrology as an aid to weather analysis,
forecasting, drought and environmental monitoring. To further exploit the satellite
data, KMD is setting up a Geo-Information System (GIS).
KMD accesses geostationary satellite data from a variety of means namely:
• PUMA station
Polar Orbiting satellite
The first HRPT station was installed in Nairobi in May 1988 with an expected
aerial coverage from
latitudes 22° North to 25°South and longitudes 12° to 60° East, allowing for an excellent coverage
of Eastern Africa and Greater Horn of Africa (GHA).
A newer version of the receiving station was installed in 1999, through the assistance of National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) with the same aerial coverage. In the year 2002, with the assistance of Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and NASA, KMD acquired more equipment and processing software.
Via internet we receive SPOT vegetation data which is processed by means of VGT4Africa software.
KMD is currently receiving data from METEOSAT 9 ie MSG2. The station receives full imagery data from the METEOSAT satellite on quarter hourly basis in all the 12 channels which cover the Infra-red (IR), Visible (Vis) and Water Vapor (Wv) bands. The station has the following capabilities:
PUMA station and SUMO Software
Reception and manipulation of MSG data has been made easier by the use of the PUMA and SUMO facilities. Besides the imagery data, we receive MDD data via the PUMA station.
(i) SPOT and NOAA
The use of polar satellite images has made it a lot easier to monitor changes in vegetation and climate among other applications.
The METEOSAT images are useful in operational forecasting, rainfall estimation, etc and as a data-base for research work.
A lot of scientific research work is currently presently being undertaken by both the KMD's scientist and in collaboration with other end users (mainly local and international institutions) using the NOAA/AVHRR data and its derived products.
KMD scientists have been actively involved in Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projects, in collaboration with the TAMSAT group of Reading University, on rainfall estimation for Kenya using the thermal infra-red images from the METEOSAT satellite.
The satellite images are particularly useful in aiding analysis of synoptic
systems, especially in detecting the position of the Inter-Tropical Convergence
Zone (ITCZ), frontal systems, and Cyclones.
With the enormous capability of MSG and NOAA satellite, we expect to acquire the necessary software and skills to enable us access more sounding data for example the TIROS Operational Vertical sounders (TOVS) and Advanced TOVS (ATOVS) etc. These include the vertical temperature, humidity, etc.
To further enable us make more use of the satellite data, KMD is currently looking into ways of having a full GIS system in place. This includes training on the same.