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Report n°1
1995 activities PRC REPORT

(Rapport en anglais)

This text is annex document #3 of MED-HYCOS Initial Coordinating Group
First Meeting (Montpellier, 5-7 March 1996) Report

Report of activities of Pilot Regional Centre


The May 1995 Montpellier meeting endorsed the Implementation Plan and established a MED-HYCOS Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) to, notably, assure the co-ordination of the implementation of the project and serve as a focal point of a regional network grouping of all the participating countries. The same meeting also established an initial co-ordinating team to prepare for the operational startup phase and to participate in the definition of objectives for the PRC. Participation of countries in the initial coordination team is based on the specific contributions made in certain fields where they have an acknowledged amount of experience and competence. This team is composed of :
    Representatives of the following countries : Bulgaria, France, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain, and Tunisia;

    Representatives of the organizations : WMO, FRIEND-AMHYand MEDIAS France;

    Institution hosting the Pilot Regional Centre : ORSTOM

The PRC and possibly other additional structures (Sub-regional Centres) which might be set up, as necessary, during the project implementation, will be responsible, together with the national agencies of the participating countries, for the implementation of the strategy adopted by the Regional Cooperation Group.

The strategy for the MED-HYCOS is to create an open Regional Centre, for coordinating and facilitating the operation of a network supported by the countries to be progressively set up. Innovative technology will be used to develop information and data exchange within the region.

In the first two-year stage (up to June 1996), it is envisaged that about 150 DCP stations in 28 participating countries would be identified and 20 of them instrumented in the Mediterranean Sea basin and in the Black Sea basin.

Locations for key stations mainly among those existing, will be identified jointly by the PRC and WMO, in agreement with the participating countries. Where required, a full range of instruments will be provided. The existing stations might need to be upgraded to meet the MED-HYCOS standards, especially to measure a core set of variables agreed upon by the participating countries. The data will be measured and recorded automatically to the extent possible. The collected data will be transmitted using Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) over the Data Collection System (DCS) of the geostationary meteorological satellite METEOSAT, as part of WMO's programmes. The use of the METEOSAT DCS will allow each of the participating countries and territories and the Regional Centre to receive, in "real or near real-time", data collected by the DCPs of the monitoring network, through ground-based METEOSAT Data Receiving Stations (MDRSs) and/or through the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) operated by WMO. These techniques, based on "intelligent" sensors and satellite data transmission, will avoid many of the current problems of data collection by minimizing human errors and operation and maintenance costs.

The participating countries have agreed that the startup phase be undertaken by a Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) operating under the auspices of WMO. For obvious reasons of economy of means and the need for the project to be implemented as quickly as possible, the PRC has been installed in one of the region's existing establishments (ORSTOM Centre in Montpellier, France), which has human and technical means that correspond to the project objectives. Later, the participating countries will agree to the operational structures needed (Regional, Sub-regional Centres, etc.) and the location of these structures.

The primary role of the PRC will be liaison, co-ordination and initiation of project implementation activities. The PRC is intended to serve as a focal point of a regional network grouping of all participating countries. Therefore, in association with all the programme partners, the PRC will notably :

    assist the RCG in the strategic, technical and operational conduct of the project;

    assist the national bodies in their technical tasks and training activities;

    hold regular meetings of hydrologists and water resources specialists to enhance collaboration between them.

WMO will provide technical and scientific support to the PRC and will supervise the implementation of the project. WMO will also facilitate access to the METEOSAT DCS and to existing segments of the GTS for data transmission, exchange and dissemination.

Chronology of activities May 1995 - February 1996

During the first 10th months, the main events were :
    19 May 1995 : resolution for the setting up of the Pilot Regional Centre

    25 May 1995 : visit to an exhibition of hydrometeorological equipment in Geneva

    31 May - 1 June 1995 : attending the EURISY colloquium in Madrid

    19 May - 15 June 1995 : in collaboration with the Initial co-ordinating team, definition of the technical specifications of the data collecting platforms to be used in MED-HYCOS networking

    10 July : presentation of the programme MED-HYCOS to the representatives of the scientific organisations of Agropolis

    15 July - 5 September 1995 : preparation and transmission of a request of funding to the European Community, in collaboration with Italy and Romania

    15 September 1995 : decision for the procurement of computers of the regional data bank

    1 June - 28 September 1995 : repair and modification of office rooms for the Pilot Regional Centre

    1 June 1995 - 31 January 1996 : reception of proposals of the countries for the sites of future data collecting platforms

    1 October 1995 : installation of the Pilot Regional Centre in Lavalette offices (Montpellier)

    26 October : meeting of the French partners of MED-HYCOS

    October : implementation W3 Med-Hycos site on Internet

    November and December 1995 : in collaboration with WMO, selection of the equipment for the Data collecting platform and preparation of the project document for 1st phase

    December 1995 : procurement of computers for the Pilot Regional Centre

    January 1996 : approval of WMO for the selection of equipment for the Data collecting platforms and preparation of the order, first discussion about the choice of the first twenty sites of DCP.

Details about the activities of the PRC

Visit to an exhibition of hydrometeorological equipment in Geneva :

In this exhibition, the main manufacturers of hydrometeorological equipment were present. This was an opportunity to be informed of the latest equipment in the market.

EURISY colloquium in Madrid
The topic of the colloquium was the remote sensing methodologies used in Mediterranean area. It was an opportunity for presenting MED-HYCOS to the participants.

Definition of the technical specifications of the Data collecting platforms
A detailed list of technical specifications, to be used for the preparation of the tender made by WMO and published in August 1995, has been established in agreement with WMO and the members of the Initial co-ordinating team. These specifications have been established to comply with the probable using conditions to obtain a safe and convivial use.

Preparation and submission of a request for a funding of the European commission
Following the EURISY colloquium, a request for funding was prepared by a limited group because of a lack of time (deadline was 15 September). The group was made up of Pilot Regional Centre, Italy (DSNT),Romania (INHM) and France (ORSTOM).
This request was not successful because it didn't fit well enough with the subject proposed by the European Commission. We were said that a new request could be more successful in 1996 in a new proposition of the Commission.

Regional data bank
The draft project of the regional data base system has been prepared during September 1995.

Office and laboratory spaces provided by ORSTOM to the Pilot Regional Centre
From June 1995 ORSTOM begin to repair and to transform a space to be used by the Pilot Regional Centre in Montpellier. Furniture was also bought. Installation of the Centre was effective from the 1 of October. A meeting of the French partners of MED-HYCOS was organised in that place on 26 of October.

Selection of equipment for the data collecting platforms
In October and November 1995, WMO made a comparative examination of the five bids received for the tender published in August. That tender have been transmitted to the manufacturers able to procure the whole integrated equipment and granted of an agreement of EUMETSAT organisation for the use of the METEOSAT satellite. A systematic comparison of the five answers against the list of specifications of the tender was made to check the conformity of the equipment, following WMO has chosen the better offer, considering the level of conformity of the device and the price. WMO has sent an order to the selected manufacturer (CEIS-TM, Toulouse) at the beginning of February 1996 for 20 data collection platforms and additional and spare parts. There is a five months delay for the delivery. It remains to chose the sites where to install these DCP. Most of the countries of the Regional Co-operation Group partners of MED-HYCOS have proposed a list of stations where they envisage to set a DCP. The choice will be made among these sites.

Preparation of a project document
WMO has prepared between November 1995 and January 1996 a draft of a first project document related to the use of the funding of World Bank (1 700 000 US $). That document was submitted to the Pilot Regional Centre for advising.

Procurement of computers
In December ORSTOM has bought computers for the setting up of the regional data bank in the Pilot Regional Centre, particularly a computer SUN and another powerful micro-computer. Furthermore a project for the installation of an optical cable is being evaluated, through which data will be transmitted by RENATER system toward INTERNET.
Experimentation of transmission of data through METEOSAT satellite has been made on the site of the Pilot Regional Centre.
In short, the Med-Hycos activities in 1996 will be improved with the support of the Initial Coordinating Group and of the countries. The activities planed in 1996 are :

    final selection of the sites of MED-HYCOS stations,

    reception, control and shipping of the first DCP,

    support and assistance in the countries for the installation and the implementation of the DCP's,

    organize training activities for DCP's,managing and maintenance

    implementation of the METEOSAT reception station in the PRC

    building of the regional data base

    study of the possible exchange data systems

    inventory of the participation proposed by the different partners : countries and organisations,

    prepare national and regional agreements for the implementation of MED - HYCOS

    seeking external funds

Functioning of the PRC

The project document forecasts than the host country for the PRC will provide : office space and part of the furniture for the PRC, a scientific and technical team and its salaries, part of the recurrent costs limited to electricity, phone, water, security system of the office space. Other costs will be supported partly by the project partly by the participating countries.
The activities of the Pilot Regional Centre started after the scientific and technical meeting in May 1995.

Computer equipment
For equiping the PRC office, some furnitures have been bought by Orstom.
For improving regional data base, a Sun work station and a PC computer have been bought by ORSTOM. Additional software (Oracle license and Dos software) and hardware (printers, modems, etc.) would be bought in 1996.
The global cost of these equipments is about 190 000 F.

The activities of the Pilot Regional Centre take place in the Lavalette building rent by ORSTOM since June 1995. The space assigned to the RPC is available, in fact, since October 1995. Among the 277 m² rent by ORSTOM, about 100 m² are attributed to the RCP activities. The part of the rent price for PRC would be about 60 000 FF for one year.
NB : The expense engaged by ORSTOM for the rehabilitation of the building were about 600 000 FF H.T.

ORSTOM staff in the Pilot Regional Centre
Marc Morell, Research engineer, in charge of the Hydrology Laboratory and of the Operational Hydrological Unit of ORSTOM, is the co-ordinator of MED-HYCOS programme. Jacques Colombani, Director of Research, in charge of the managing.
Patrick Raous, Research engineer in charge of the Software Unit of the Hydrology Laboratory and of Operationnal Hydrology Unit will participate for a part of his time to the designing of the Regional Data Base. A data processing engineer will work for the implementation of the Regional Data Base in next May.
Pierre Marchand, engineer in electronic, in charge of the technology team of the Operational Hydrology Unit, with the temporary help of Philippe Chazarin, data processing technician, has contributed to the definition of the specifications of the PCD and will contribute to the future implementation of the programme.
Bernard Thébé, Head of Operational Hydrology training unit in the ORSTOM Hydrology Laboratory, will be in charge of training courses organization.
Based on the daily rate of the ORSTOM staff cost (senior : 3 100 F, junior : 2 600 F, technician : 2 000 F), the cost of the RPC staff is as follows.

Evaluation of the ORSTOM staff costs for year 1996

Nom Grade Function Monthly rate Nb months Total FF
Marc Morell IR Hydrologist 68 000 0.5 34 000
Jacques Colombani DR Hydrologist 68 000 8 544 000
Patrick Raous IR Hydrologist 68 000 2 136 000
Pierre Marchand IE Electronician 57 000 2 114 000
X IR data processing 57 000 7 399 000
Philippe Chazarin TR data processing 44 000 2 88 000
Bernard Thébé IE Hydrologist training 57 000 1 57 000
Secretary SAR Secretary 40 000 40 000
Total 1 412 000
IR : Research Engineer IE : Engineer
DR : Research Director
TR : Technician SAR : Administrative Secretary

Recurrent costs
The annual recurrent costs are composed of the cost of the basic functioning and of the cost of travels and missions.
The annual expenses for basic functioning are :

  maintenance of the devices 20 000 FF
  electronic network and software maintenance 60 000 FF
  reports publication and others 10 000 FF

The annual cost of the functioning will be 90 000 FF, no including specific activities.

Montpellier, February 1996.

[Report Summary]