RAPIDCast antenna assembly
Engineers with TIPG-PEACESAT put together a RAPIDCast antenna in Hawaii for initial testing of the broadcast. The dish is a Ku-Band antenna sitting on a non-penetrating roof mount. Photo courtesy of Tom Okamura. (c) 2012.

The International Extension and Public Alert Systems (IEPAS) program engages in research and undertakes projects to improve rural and remote communication of meteorological information. Primary support for the program is provided by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) within its Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance. Funding is provided through an inter-agency agreement with the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) International Activities Office (IAO). IEPAS programs are administered by the COMET Program, part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Community Programs.

Chatty Beetle communication device
A meteorological observer from the remote Tongan island of Niuataputapu sends a message while testing RANET Chatty Beetle communication device. photo © Met Service. Peter Fisher.

The IEPAS program grew out of RANET (Radio and Internet for the Communication of Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Related Information) efforts, and it was established to address a wider range of communication issues than that undertaken by RANET. To accomplish its mission, IEPAS engages in the development of communication tools, provides training, and manages pilot and quasi-operational systems. The program works in parts of Africa, Asia, Pacific region, Central America, and the Caribbean.

A COMET/IEPAS staff directly is available here.