FEU Diliman has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) for the installation of the P-POTEKA Weather Station as part of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) Understanding Lightning and Thunderstorm (ULAT) project.
The P-POTEKA Weather Station is an autonomously-powered system for real-time and location-specific weather forecasts. It measures several weather parameters, such as solar radiation, rain, wind speed and direction, air pressure, humidity, and temperate. Unlike the current nationwide systems that monitor the weather at a macroscale or regional level, the ULAT Metro Manila Weather Network observes the weather conditions at a microscale level – specific to cities or barangays. It also forecasts both the location and intensity of storms. This system could help the government to speed up its response time for threatening weather anomalies.
Researchers from DOST-ASTI agreed that the front lawn near the university’s football pitch fits all the requirements that guarantee the smooth installation and operation of P-POTEKA. Additionally, DOST-ASTI also recognized that the location is suitable for the P-POTEKA station’s 3G communications and free from any large sources of electrostatic noise that can critically impact the station’s reliability.
FEU Diliman is located at the heart of Metro Manila, which ideally grants an opportunity for the ULAT Metro Manila Weather Network to better predict storms and typhoons in the stations’ effective coverage.
The partnership with DOST-ASTI will allow FEU Diliman to improve its science programs. In return, the university may invite DOST representatives to the campus to educate faculty members about the equipment’s function and importance. On the other hand, FEU Diliman teachers will then be able to disseminate the information to their learners, particularly to FEU Diliman Senior High School’s STEM students. The university, however, can also use the P-POTEKA device for academic purposes.
Last October, the MOA has been settled, with DOST-ASTI signing the agreement on October 6, 2020, and FEU Diliman on October 23. Meanwhile, the deployment of manpower for the project has been delayed due to the pandemic. The installation of the weather station is said to be pushed through once all issues are resolved.
The ULAT project is a collaborative research agreement between DOST-ASTI, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Science and Technology (JST), and Hokkaido University. Parties involved in the project aim to build a network of 60 lightning instruments throughout the country to collect torrential rainfall data and lightning events to improve weather forecasts and speed up disaster response.
Furthermore, the project supports the FEU Diliman’s environment and social responsibility. As mentioned, with the development of accurate weather forecasts, FEU Diliman will contribute to the government’s rapid response to natural calamities and initiatives to save lives. With FEU Diliman’s support, the ULAT project will help the Philippine government make more efficient and effective action plans for the Filipinos.