Central Weather Bureau (CWB) of Taiwan, Republic of China provides weather services for the public including the ground weather information and the marine weather information. Marine weather information is essential for ship navigation, fishery activities and oceanic recreation programs. CWB has been provided marine weather information to ships in the sea via radio communication for years. However this is a single-way data transmission method. The contents and quality of the radio faxed data are limited. In addition, CWB cannot receive echoes or comments from the users as well as the data observed from ships. During the past few decades, the increasing recognition of the role of the oceans in the global climate system has placed even greater emphasis on the importance of marine meteorological and oceanographical observing systems. Since ships' meteorological observations are recognized as being essential for the provision of field data in the open sea, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) promoted a Voluntary Observing Ships' (VOS) project. This project invites the ships in the sea to observe and send their observation data to WMO for climatological and scientific purposes. The forerunner of this project dates back as far as 1853. At the present time, the contribution which VOS meteorological reports make to operational meteorology, to marine meteorological services and to global climate studies is unique and irreplaceable. Base on the requirements and the services, CWB assigned the Coastal Ocean Monitoring Center of National Cheng Kung University to develop a program in order to transfer and receive data to ships in the sea. This program is entitled as Marine Weather Information Services Platform or called MWISP. In addition to be the platform with the ship in the open sea, this system also provide a interface for the Fishery Radio Stations (FRS) in Taiwan because they connect with fisher boats in the Taiwan・s coast ocean areas and also receive weather reports from the fishermen. MWISP has a web-page for them to upload the data when they receive any data from field fisher boats. MWISP can be seemed as a platform to link CWB, ships in the open sea and the fisher boats in the coastal areas.

 

Summary of MWISP・s functions are listed below:

  1. CWB can use MWISP to provide real-time data and forecast data to Ships in the open sea.
  2. Shipboard observed data can transferred back to CWB via MWISP.
  3. FRS can send the fishermen observe data to CWB by MWISP web-page.
  4. FRS can browse all fishermen observe data from MWISP web-page and pass to the fisher boats via radio if necessary.
  5. All the data of Ships observe in the open sea and fisher boats observe in the coast ocean can be presented and statistical analysis by MWISP for weather forecast references.

 

Data transferred by CWB via MWISP are listed below:

  1. For general weather information,
    1. General weather report (text)
    2. Weather analysis chart (image)
    3. Coast ocean fishery weather reports (text)
    4. Monochromic and color satellite images (images)
  2. For forecast weather information,
    1. Weather forecast charts (7 days) (images)
    2. Ocean Wave forecast charts (24, 36 and 48 hrs) (images)
    3. Pressure field (grid data)
    4. 500 hPa Height (grid data)
    5. 850 hPa Wind (grid data)
  3. For typhoon information,
    1. Real-time Typhoon alarm (text)
    2. Coordinates of typhoon forecast track (text)
    3. Typhoon track forecast chart (image)

 

Data received from Ships via MWISP include,

  1. Wind
  2. Wave
  3. Cloud
  4. Barometric pressure
  5. Temperature
  6. Humidity
  7. Description of weather at ship's location

 

MWISP is composed of 4 sub-programs. They are Ship Onboard Program (SOP), Web-Page Program (WPP), Central Control Program (CCP) and Mail Server Program (MSP).

 

Ship Onboard Program (SOP):

SOP is a program which will be installed on the voluntary ship・s computer. By this program, ship crewman can send the request to CWB, for example to ask for a certain data (listed above) for the user defined period and for a certain region. Some of the data cover only East Asia area, but some data are worldwide such as pressure field, 500 hPa Height and 850 hPa Wind. When CWB receives the request from a ship, server will prepare the data and transmit to the ship at the time that asked in the request contents. The data are transmitted via the original ship・s email transmission device that it is mostly satellite communication. SOP program is free of charge provided by CWB but the costs of data transmission should be paid by ship owner. The requirement of PC specification is very low. The program can work on most of operation systems such as Windows 2000 SP4 / Windows XP SP2 / Windows 2003 SP1 / Windows Vista.

Web-Page Program (WPP):

MWISP web-page has two purposes. One is to allow the ships・ manager to manage the ships which use this system, for example to add or erase a ship and to edit the basic data of a ship. However by the limitation of computer security, above mentioned function is open only for those users who have fix IP address. The second function of the web-page is the interface for the FRS person to upload the coast ocean data from fishery boats. In addition, they can also manager the fisher boats・ basic data and they can browse all fisher boats・ reports on a geographic map.

Central Control Program (CCP):

This program is the kernel program of MWISP. It links all sub-programs. It receives requests from ships and prepares requested data from CWB database and sends to ships. It has coding, encoding and WMO data format transfer functions. It also contains a system monitoring program to offer a interface for CWB manager to monitor the working conditions of MWISP system.

Mail Server Program (MSP):

MWISP communicates with ships by emails. Mail server is therefore an important component in this system. Mail server program managers the received emails and responds for the replies. This program is close linked with Central Control Program and plays an important role within MWISP.

MWISP program is free of charge provided by CWB. Data transmission cost should be paid by the users. To use MWISP, please download the application form and send to CWB by email which is announced inside the file.

@@