Benjamin Lamptey

Benjamin L. Lamptey, PhD

(Regional Maritime University Accra, Ghana)

My research has to do with atmospheric modeling (Numerical Weather Prediction and climate modeling). It is computationally demanding and thus requires high performance computing. To download boundary conditions require a large bandwidth and reliable Internet connectivity. This is particularly more important if the NWP model is to be run in real-time. I will like to teach students modeling but this will require a network of a reasonable number of computers. The atmospheric model output would also be used as input to application models (e.g. crop, hydrology, air quality, etc). Also, reliable Internet connectivity is needed for access to scientific literature.

The main obstacles are the lack of computing resources, large bandwidth, poor Internet connectivity and data storage facilities. The need for software like Matlab is to be circumvented by using open source software (e.g Matlab and R) but there may be some dedicated software that may have to be purchased. Funding is needed to buy license for software and maintain the license.

Currently my university has only one Gateway. It uses VSAT through GILAT SATCOM in Israel. The bandwidth is 1MB (down) and 256K(up). The University is currently working to be connected to the fibre optic through the Main One Company. The minimum bandwidth for the new connection is 45MB (up and down). The cost of this connection is between US$15k to 20K per month. The University currently can afford a maximum of US$4,500 per month. The challenge now is to raise the US$15k or more and be able to sustain it.