DOST-PAGASA Inaugurates COMS Data Analysis System

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By:Precy Faustino-Lazaro

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THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) inaugurates the new Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) Data Analysis System on May 17, 2017 at the PAGASA Weather and Flood Forecasting Center in Agham Road Quezon City. The COMS was launched in 2010 is the first geostationary multi-purpose satellite of Korea stationed at an altitude of 36,000km above the Earth’s equator and at a longitude of 128.2°E. The satellite performs meteorological, ocean observations, and communications services.

COMS Data Analysis System aims to strengthen PAGASA’s capacity to receive and analyze meteorological satellite data and thereby enhancing weather monitoring and improving weather forecast accuracy. The data from the COMS satellite can provide more frequent updates with a 15-minute interval. It was conceptualized in 2008 through the Korean Government’s Technical Cooperation Program and endorsed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Dr. Flaviana Hilario, PAGASA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development, said in her opening message that the COMS Project is another milestone in the field of Weather Forecasting as the new tools can “better monitor the weather systems affecting the country”. Dr. Vicente Malano, Administrator of PAGASA, also expressed his appreciation for the COMS Project, saying that it will further complement the PAGASA modernization program towards its goal to become a world-class weather service provider. “This multi-million project, made possible through the Korean government’s grant aid and technical cooperation program, is guaranteed to help strengthen PAGASA’s capacity to receive and analyze meteorological satellite data and thereby enhancing weather monitoring and improving weather forecast accuracy”, Dr. Malano added

KOICA Country Director Shin Myung Seop is also hopeful about the success of the COMS system specifically in identifying, assessing and reducing the risks of natural disasters. “The Korean Government and the Philippine Government agreed to select Disaster Prevention as a new priority area of the Country Partnership Strategy that would lead our development cooperation for the period of 2017-2020. Therefore, the KOICA Philippine Office is making efforts toward the prioritization of the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Sector in our cooperation areas from this year”, he stated.

The COMS Satellite has five channels, one visible and four infrared images that can generate sixteen types of analysis data used in weather forecasting and numerical weather prediction including cloud detection, estimation of radiation level in cloud-free region, land and sea surface temperature, fog detection, and rainfall intensity. Combined data from the satellite receivers like the COMS and other weather monitoring equipment such as the different Doppler Radars in the country means more precise and accurate weather information. The COMS Satellite Receiving System is also installed at the PAGASA Central Office with four local workstations located at PAGASA regional offices in Tuguegarao, Legazpi City, Lapu-Lapu City, and El Salvador City.

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