The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Training Centre (BMTC) includes a training Centre of Excellence (CoE) with connections across the Australasia-Pacific region. The CoE works closely with the Principal Sponsoring Satellite Operator, the Japan Meteorological Agency, but also has close contacts with the Korea Meteorological Administration, the China Meteorological Administration, the USA (NOAA / NASA) BMKG Indonesia and other agencies within WMO RAV and RAII.
The Centre of Excellence strives to meet user needs for increased skills and knowledge in using data and products from meteorological and environmental satellites within WMO Region V. Collaboration with other CoE’s, Champions and Colleagues ensures that the benefit from this training reaches out well beyond WMO Region V.
The Australian VLab Centre of Excellence (CoE) was in the first group of CoE’s that were approved by the Virtual Laboratory Management Group (VLMG) in May 2001.
The CoE grew from advanced training courses in satellite meteorology and the Man- computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the 1980’s, coordinated within the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre (BMTC).
International involvement commenced with the first APSATS (Asia Pacific Satellite Applications Training Seminar) in 1996.
Much of the preparatory work for the Virtual Laboratory was conducted in Melbourne in 1999 when BMTC hosted one of the Expert Teams on Satellite Systems and Utilisation.
The Melbourne CoE was one of the pivotal centres for the HPTE (High Profile Training Event) in 2006 which was run in parallel with APSATS III.
Virtual Laboratory sessions have been included in the BMTC Advanced Forecaster Courses during 2009, 2010, 2011 and the BOM Advanced Forecaster Course Science Weeks during 2014 and 2015.
Regional Focus Group (RFG) meetings have been organized and coordinated by VLab CoE Australia since October 2013 on a near monthly basis.
Presenters to these RFG meetings have included subject experts / colleagues from BOM Australia, BMKG Indonesia, KMA, JMA, CMA, USA, Met Service New Zealand.
Average attendance to these Regional Focus Group meetings has been more than 30.
Since 2017 the RFG meetings have included the Socrative cloud-based learner response system for enhanced presenter / participant interaction.
These RFG meetings have been incorporated into the Asia Oceania Meteorological Satellite User (AOMSUC) Training Events since 2019.
The Australian VLab CoE demonstrated regional leadership in implementing the National Himawari Training Campaign during 2014 and 2015 in preparation for the deployment of the Himawari-8 satellite. During this initiative training resources simulating the Himawari-8 data were developed that utilized AQUA/TERRA MODIS and MTSAT-2 Rapid Scan data. These resources were demonstrated during Regional Focus Group meetings.
The Australian VLab CoE has participated in the review and update of WMO-258 Satellite Meteorology Competencies, which is also important in the development of satellite related subjects within the BMTC “Diploma of Meteorology” curriculum.
In the past the coordinating roles of the Melbourne CoE has been shared between Jeff Wilson and Ian Bell. Later by Roger Deslandes, Peter Davidson, Duncan Tippins and Bodo Zeschke. Currently these roles are shared between Dr Mick Pope and Bodo Zeschke.
CoE Contact Information
Dr Mick Pope
Manager Meteorologist Initial Training – Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre
Teacher – Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre