on 27 November 1998
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
CAPITAL WORKS RESERVE FUND
HEAD 708 - CAPITAL SUBVENTIONS AND MAJOR SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT
Hong Kong Observatory
New Subhead "Ground reception system for meteorological data from the Multi-Functional Transport Satellite"
Members are invited to approve a new commitment of $35.4 million for the Hong Kong Observatory to acquire and install a replacement ground reception system for meteorological data from the Multi-Functional Transport Satellite.
The existing geostationary meteorological satellite ground reception system in the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) which supports the weather forecasting and warning services will become obsolete in early 2000.
2. The Director of HKO, with the support of the Secretary for Economic Services, proposes to acquire and install a new ground reception system for the Multi-Functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) to replace the existing system at a non-recurrent cost of $35.4 million.
3. Satellite information is important for the monitoring and forecasting of tropical cyclones and rainstorms. Availability of such information has significantly enhanced the reliability and accuracy of our weather forecasting and warning systems. For years, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), through its series of Geostationary Meteorological Satellites (GMS), has provided vital weather information to HKO in the form of hourly satellite imagery. The GMS ground reception system in HKO was designed some 19 years ago for receiving these cloud images. A description of the GMS ground reception system is at Enclosure 1.
4. In September 1997, JMA announced that it would replace the GMS series by the new-generation MTSAT in early 2000. In addition to cloud images, the MTSAT will broadcast meteorological data which is essential to day-to-day weather forecasting. The new-generation satellite will also disseminate more and higher resolution data within a shorter period of time. However, due to the difference in mode of transmission and data format and the increased number of data channels of the new satellite, the existing GMS ground reception system would not be able to receive cloud images and meteorological data transmitted by the MTSAT. We therefore need a replacement reception system if we are to continue to receive the satellite information from the JMA. Currently, JMA is the only agency providing GMS broadcasts of cloud images and meteorological information covering this Region. A description of the MTSAT ground reception system is at Enclosure 2.
5. In addition to the compatibility problem, the antenna and radome of the existing GMS ground reception system have deteriorated over the years and have reached the end of their usable life. The wear and tear has caused significant corrosion to key components of the antenna and radome and many of the spare parts for these components are no longer available. This affects the reception of the cloud images by the existing system. In view of the compatibility problem and its obsolete condition, we propose to replace the existing ground reception system by a new MTSAT ground reception system that can receive more improved and advance data from the MTSAT.
6. The estimated non-recurrent cost of the proposal is $35.4 million, made up as follows -
|(a) Ground reception system
- ground reception equipment
- computers and communication facilities
- delivery, installation, testing, commissioning and training
|(b) Spare parts and consumables
|(c) Minor civil works
|(d) Contingency (5%)
7. As regards paragraph 6(a)(i) above, the cost covers one dish antenna, one protective radome and two satellite signal receivers one for operational and the other for standby purposes. Having a standby set is to ensure that cloud images and meteorological data are always available for weather forecasting should the operational set fail to function properly.
8. As regards paragraph 6(a)(ii) above, the cost covers hardware and software of two central servers, eight display computer workstations for processing and display of data and one lot of peripheral devices for data storage and telecommunication facilities.
9. As regards paragraph 6(a)(iii) above, the cost covers services in respect of delivery, installation, testing, commissioning and training.
10. As regards paragraph 6(b) above, the cost covers the initial stock of spare parts and consumables for the MTSAT ground reception system.
11. As regards paragraph 6(c) above, the cost covers minor civil works for the base structure of the dish antenna and protective radome.
12. The estimated cash flow is as follows -
13. The Director of HKO estimates that there will not be additional staffing requirement arising from the proposal. However, the new system would incur additional recurrent expenditure of $0.15 million in 2000-01 and $1.5 million per year from 2001-02 onwards to cover the higher maintenance and operation cost of the proposed system.
14. The Director of HKO plans to implement the proposal according to the following schedule -
|Target completion date
|(a) Preparation of specifications and tender document
|(b) Tender processing, evaluation and award of contract
|(c) Delivery of equipment and completion of minor civil works
|(d) Acceptance test and commissioning
Economic Services Bureau
Enclosure 1 to FCR(98-99)48
Existing Geostationary Meteorological Satellites (GMS)
Ground Reception System
Brief Description of the System
The existing GMS ground reception system is receiving, processing and displaying all cloud images broadcast from the GMS series.
2. The existing system consists of a five-metre dish antenna enclosed inside a protective radome for receiving the raw signals from the GMS. This antenna has been in operation since 1979 and the wear and tear over the years has caused significant corrosion to its key components. No spare parts for the antenna are currently available. The radome to protect the antenna installed in 1982 is also in poor condition.
3. The raw signals from the GMS are received by a signal receiver for cloud images. The data is then transmitted to the Central Server where the data is decoded and transformed for display as cloud images. The Central Server is also responsible for the archival and dissemination of the satellite data.
4. The system also consists of five computer workstations installed at various locations of the Hong Kong Observatory, including the Airport Meteorological Office at the Hong Kong International Airport, for operational weather forecasting, forecast techniques development, TV weather programmes, etc.
5. The system also consists of a set of telecommunication facilities and colour printers for data dissemination and hard copy display. Data are stored on magnetic tapes.
Enclosure 2 to FCR(98-99)48
Proposed Multi-Functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT)
Ground Reception System
Brief Description of the System
The proposed MTSAT ground reception system will be required to receive, process and display all cloud images and meteorological data broadcast from the MTSAT.
2. The proposed system will consist of a dish antenna, which will be enclosed inside a protective radome, for receiving the raw signals from the MTSAT.
3. The raw signals will be received by a signal receiver for cloud images and meteorological data. The data will then be transmitted to the Central Server where it is decoded and transformed for display as cloud images or meteorological information such as numerical weather prediction charts and weather advisory/warning bulletins. The Central Server is also responsible for the archival and dissemination of the satellite and meteorological data. The signal receiver and the Central Server are supported by a hot stand-by unit to ensure uninterrupted reception of satellite data for continuous surveillance of tropical cyclones and other severe weather systems.
4. The system will also consist of eight computer workstations installed at various locations of the Hong Kong Observatory, including the Airport Meteorological Office at the Hong Kong International Airport, for operational weather forecasting, forecast techniques development, TV weather programmes and training, etc.
5. Telecommunication facilities, mass data storage device and colour printers are also included in the system for data dissemination, data storage and retrieval and hard copy display respectively.