Instrument Maintenance and Calibration in the Pacific

Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) hosted an instrument maintenance and calibration training course from 21 November to 1 December 2016, attended by 13 experts from 11 Pacific island states. The course emphasized hands-on calibration in order to improve observation quality and traceability in the Pacific region.

FMS specialists visited the Japan Meteorological Agency’s (JMA) Regional Instrument Centre in Tsukuba prior to the session to develop their own skills and plan the course. The Regional Centre also calibrated barometers, thermometers and hygrometers from FMS so that they could be used as reference standards in the course.

During the hands-on exercise, trainees calibrated instruments they had brought with them from their home countries under the guidance of the FMS and JMA specialists. They also examined the theoretical aspects of meteorological instruments, based on the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO) Guide. The trainees successfully completed the calibrations and were issued FMS certificates for all the instruments. The course concluded with a discussion on the establishment of traceability in the Pacific to ensure the reliability of observations. Participants stressed the need for continued capacity development and the enhanced regional networking for calibration.

WMO and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly funded the course and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) provided technical assistance. The WMO Education and Training Programme coordinated some 12 calibration courses around the world from 2013 to 2016 – training 160 stations from around 80 meteorological services – with support from Norwegian and Canadian Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) funds. This is the second year in the row that Fiji is hosting the course for the Pacific island states. 

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