BoM to invest $16m on next-gen weather monitoring platform

BoM to invest $16m on next-gen weather monitoring platform

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has earmarked $16 million to develop a new data management platform, strengthening its nationwide forecasting, monitoring, and alert capabilities.

BoM will partner with Leidos Australia on the three-year platform build. Leidos, a local software developer, is an existing supplier to the Australian Defence Force.

The project has been welcomed by BoM as an important step to delivering resilient services and functionality through a secure and scalable data management platform.

In a brief statement, Leidos Australia chief executive, Christine Zeitz, said the company was “delighted” to have secured its first contract with the Bureau.

“The Australian community depends on the critical data that the Bureau collects and delivers and we look forward to supporting this through the platform,” Zeitz said.

Leidos has not specified details of the contract; however, the company stressed that the new platform would meet the Bureau’s information access and reporting requirements. This includes alignment with the Bureau’s Data Governance and Information Life Cycle Management policies, procedures, and products.

BoM real-time surveillance and reporting systems – a critical information asset for governments, industry and communities, and serves as an essential lifeline for parts of the country exposed to weather extremes – continuously track the natural environment, offering data on drought, floods, fires, storms, tsunami, and tropical cyclones.

The Bureau’s data modelling is used to relay forecasts and alerts across Australia and the Antarctic.

According to BoM’s 2019-2020 corporate plan, real-time data and information support are provided for 129 “Category 1″ applications through a 24/7 alert feed, where failure in any one of these would result in immediate and serious consequences for essential Bureau operations and services”.

Up to 62 weather surveillance radars capture changes to weather patterns together with feeds from 700 automatic weather stations.

The Bureau’s domestic information-sharing and surveillance network is supplemented by globally distributed observation networks.

Weather data is also shared amongst international meteorological and space agencies, with data relayed by earth observation satellites that are operated by global partners.