More national data centre experts trained

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has organized another capacity building  training for National Data Centres (NDC) representatives from developing countries. Experts from Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama and Paraguay were trained at CTBTO headquarters in Vienna from 17 February to 14 March 2014. This intensive hands-on training course was organized with financial assistance from the European Union.

First-day orientation with IDC Director Randy Bell (second from right)

We have two key objectives for this type of training: First, all CTBT Member States should have their own capacities to analyse and discuss our monitoring data. And secondly, they should be able to make optimum use of the data for the benefit of their people, for instance to refine tsunami warning systems or for scientific research.

The participants were shown how to make use of the data generated by the CTBTO’s International Monitoring System (IMS) global network of stations (see interactive map), which consists of seismic, radionuclide, infrasound and hydroacoustic sensors to detect signs of a nuclear explosion underground, in the atmosphere and under water. They gained knowledge on how to use  International Data Centre (IDC) provided software known as  NDC-in-a-box. They also learned how to import and merge data both from IMS and local stations in order to enhance their analysis of events.

Screenshot from Geotool showing seismic data analysis

I was struck by the importance of face-to-face contact. Everyone here has the same problems and they can be quickly resolved through knowledge transfer…I will be contacting our local universities to partake in the monitoring and analysis of our local NDC.

After the first week of familiarizing themselves with the software and tools, the trainees worked on analysing real events, using Geotool to analyse raw waveform data of regional events. In the last week, the theoretical and practical knowledge was put to use in exercises in analysing local, regional and distant waveform events.

Nortin Peter-David Titus, Chief Geophysicist Geological

After this training, I will be able to use Geotool software to compare the results with our local software. My knowledge will help me process data and produce a seismic bulletin for my country.

The participants’ feedback was positive: Awwal Bisallah from Nigeria said that his knowledge would help him give better advice to the government and to compare the data of his nation’s own seismic stations with those of the CTBTO. Yaya Djire of Mali was satisfied that the training had widened his horizons “in using Geotool and all CTBTO products: hydroacoustic, infrasound, radionuclide and seismic.” Similar capacity building training events will be held at the CTBTO later this year, further expanding the collective expertise of the NDCs in the CTBTO’s 183 Member States.

The training was made possible through voluntary contribution by the European Union

Felix Martinez from the Dominican Republic receiving his training certificate from IDC Director Randy Bell

I increased my knowledge about IMS technology and also improved my capacity to work and process IDC products. Of course I would recommend the NDC training, especially in Latin America.