Telokanda uses the Telos blockchain to incentivize real-time weather data collection starting in West Africa, improving climate research, hurricane tracking, and local weather forecasting
Lagos, Nigeria — November 10, 2020 at 7 am EST — Telokanda (https://kandaweather.org/), an open-source weather technology company, today announced a first-of-its-kind weather balloon initiative in West Africa in partnership with Telos (https://www.telos.net/), one of the most active blockchain platforms in the world. Telokanda uses the Telos blockchain to incentivize real-time weather data collection, improving climate research, hurricane tracking, and local weather forecasting.
Telokanda’s weather balloons are high-altitude devices that collect and transmit information about atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speeds using a small sensor called a radiosonde. The sensors transmit weather data to the Telos blockchain in real-time, where it can be stored inexpensively as RAM. Telokanda then sends this data to first responders, alerting them of severe weather up to 12 hours in advance. The company is also prototyping an SMS service to automatically notify citizens when its balloons detect severe conditions.
Telokanda has developed a method of sending digital currency instantly to people who launch their weather balloons, incentivizing timely and consistent launches. Once a weather balloon transmits data to the Telos blockchain (by achieving a specific altitude on the GPS unit, which typically occurs about 10 minutes into flight), a smart contract triggers payments in Telos tokens (TLOS) to their digital wallet. Each reward of up to 1,000 TLOS (approximately $15 USD) can easily be converted to fiat (Nigerian Naira or Ghanaian Cedis) via the Sesacash app.
“The Telokanda weather balloon project is the new face for how emerging technologies can create a better and more equitable world. There hasn’t been a big push to launch radiosondes in West Africa for 15 years, but now with the development of 3D printing, cheap microcontrollers and the Telos blockchain, it’s becoming a reality,” said Douglas Horn, Chief Architect of the Telos blockchain. “This project can quickly grow into one that will save lives and help prevent billions of dollars in weather damage while rewarding local participants for their efforts. I’m particularly proud that this grew out of the tools and communities we’ve built on Telos and the initial funding it received from Telos Works.”
Launched by former Boeing and NASA engineer Nicolas Lopez alongside a team in West Africa, Telokanda is partnering with universities and community groups to deploy its weather balloons in various locations, starting in West Africa, where massive gaps in weather data collection and sharing are far-reaching and create major challenges.
Without weather forecasts, local farmers have no time to prepare their crops or animals for oncoming storms or the dangerous volumes of runoff from the many deforested areas, and citizens often don’t have enough advanced warning to evacuate. Globally, these gaps in weather data hurt North and South America’s ability to track hurricanes, which often originate over West Africa. Data gaps also prevent climate researchers from tracking patterns in the region.
Until now, attempts to solve these gaps in weather modeling have failed due to costs, low-quality tech, or lack of community support. Telokanda solves this by incentivizing citizens themselves to launch their low-cost, highly advanced weather balloons. Each balloon includes a small sensor placed in a 3D-printed box, allowing it to be safely deployed with hydrogen created locally through solar-powered electrolysis instead of helium. The quality of weather data collected rivals that of the National Weather Service, all at a fraction of the cost. Telokanda has completed seven prototype launches in North America and Nigeria, and is now opening its program more broadly.
“Blockchain technology and crypto payments have seen major growth and adoption in the West African region in recent years, so incentivizing deployments on the Telos blockchain made perfect sense. We’re able to track data and pay incentives all using Telos, which helps us grow our network of weather balloons across the region,” said Nicolas Lopez, Lead Engineer at Telokanda. “Telokanda’s technology is all open-source, and we welcome anyone to adapt or build off of our weather technology.”
About Telokanda Weather Group
Telokanda Weather Group (https://kandaweather.org/) is an open-source weather technology company. Kanda’s weather balloons are high-altitude devices that collect and transmit information about atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speeds using a small measuring device called a radiosonde. These weather balloons are being actively deployed in West Africa where massive gaps in weather data collection and sharing create major challenges. Telokanda’s goal is to incentivize real-time weather data collection, improving climate research, hurricane tracking, and local weather forecasting.
Telos is a high-capacity network and one of the most active blockchain platforms in the world according to Blocktivity. Telos features a robust, third-generation blockchain governance system including advanced voting features and smart contracts that can be fully configured to meet the needs of any developer. Created by developers for developers, Telos extends its state-of-the-art blockchain and governance features to all DApps on its platform, delivering the best user experience in the marketplace. Telos also supports the blockchain ecosystem by serving as an incubator and accelerator for decentralized applications. For more information, please visit www.telos.net.
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