How it works

How it works

Integration and IT Strategy

In TEMBO Africa, there is a tight coupling between in-situ observations, satellite data, and numerical models to ensure that the advantages of each approach enhance each other.

As a whole, TEMBO Africa :

  • Reuse as much as possible existing software platforms, avoiding inefficient use of resources, making use of the advantages of what is there (robust data flows in the AgroApps platform; controlled data access and visualization in TWIGA platform, etc.)
  • Use data standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium, to ensure easy data exchange with GEOSS and Coper­nicus;
  • Use standard APIs and formats to develop scalable and modular Lego®-like elements for all services.

Work Packages' general logic WP1 is the principal point of interaction with external users and coordinates the development of integrated services (WP2, WP3, WP4) and technological developments (WP5, WP6, WP7). Data products that are also accessible to external entities, like GEO, such as soil moisture maps, rainfall fields, and discharge time series, serve as the primary interface between the technical and service WPs (SS). Although multiple products will support multiple services, just WP2 is shown here for clarity's sake.

TEMBO Africa's open source guiding principles

The TEMBO Africa consortium is preparing and following a Data Management Plan that adheres to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles. The plan outlines how the consortium is handling data during and after the project to make it FAIR.

Operationalize the use of cost-efficient innovative in situ sensors in Africa


  1. Use of Commercial Microwave Links for rainfall estimates
  2. X-Band radar for spatial rainfall estimates
  3. Intervalometers to support rainfall detection and rainfall typification

Land surface

  1. Cost-effective neutron counters for large-scale soil moisture (BLOSM)
  2. Low-cost GPS/GNSS receivers for mapping and multiple additional applications

Open Water

  1. Transformative camera-based river discharge measurements
  2. Mapping of streambeds and floodplains with UAVs, fish-finders, and GNSS

Make African data available through GEOSS and external parties in (near-)real time

  1. In situ calibrated rainfall maps (WP5, operational delivery through GEOSS)
  2. In situ calibrated soil moisture maps (WP6, weekly Volta and Luangwa, ten days Ghana and Zambia)
  3. River discharge time series with error estimates (WP7, ≥5,000 hourly river flow observations)
  4. Bathymetry and open water maps of floodplains and reservoirs (WP3, 7, ≥10 water management systems)

Create socio-economic value  by developing services using new sensors plus satellites and models

  1. Develop services to mitigate geo-hazards, starting with Flood Early Warning Systems (WP2, ≥3 paying users)
  2. Develop water management information services, starting with Reservoir Management (WP3, ≥5 dams operational)
  3. Develop agricultural information services, starting with Germination Insurance (WP4, ≥1crop insurance product)

Market these new services to harvest resources to maintain sensors and services

  1. Organise rapid feedback from users to continuously improve value (WP1, ≥50 service integrators reached)
  2. Design and realise permanent finance mechanisms for public goods (WP1, for flood early warning, reservoir operations and germination insurance)
  3. Identify and engage private entities with willingness to pay for services (WP1, ≥35 users willing to pay)


TEMBO Africa offers a range of technical solutions, combined with special attention to governance, often the main obstacle to successful implementation. This means that in addition to showing technical added value, raising awareness and building trust are key components of the initiative.

TEMBO Africa will increase the number of low-cost weather stations and the areal coverage of the data, and generate top-quality data records, which leads to improved weather forecasting in general, but also supports seasonal climate forecasting and climate change projections.