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The AECI’s Project entitled “Sand and Dust Strom Early Warning System in the Magreb Region” (SDS-Africa) will reinforce the ground-based observational system of the WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment (SDS WAS) System for Northern Africa, Europe and Middle East hosted by Spain and managed by the consortium integrated by AEMET and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).

The main goal of this project is to establish a ground-based network of sun photometers in selected sites of Northern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and Egypt) for detecting and monitoring dust storms. These stations will complement the existing stations in Northern Africa (Tamanrasset-Algeria and Canary Islands) managed by the IARC and the Office National de la Météorologie. They will be also used for near real time satellite-based sensor validation and calibration, and for dust modelling validation. This project constitutes a valuable contribution to the Aerosol WMO Global Atmospheric Watch Program.

The three new stations will be incorporated into the AERONET, PHOTONS and RIMA networks.

A technical seminar will be organized in late 2009/early 2010 at the Izana GAW station (Tenerife, Canary Islands) to explain to the participants the scientific and technical goals, as well as the operational and instrumental details of the project.  Practical training of instrument operation and maintenance will be offered at the Izaña GAW Observatory using identical instruments to those to be installed in the new stations.