Telokanda will use the Telos blockchain to help university students and farming communities record and share weather data with the goal of improving climate research, hurricane tracking and local weather forecasting, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.
According to the announcement, the project was developed by a team in West Africa that includes former Boeing and NASA engineer Nicolas Lopez.
High-altitude weather balloons, launched by citizens in West African countries, will carry lightweight devices called radiosondes into the air while beaming atmospheric data, including pressure, temperature and wind speed, back to Earth.
The project hopes to motivate citizens to participate in weather data collection by developing a method of sending digital currency instantly to people who launch their weather balloons, incentivizing timely and consistent launches, the announcement said.
The announcement said that once a weather balloon transmits data to the blockchain, a smart contract will trigger payments in telos tokens (TLOS) to the operators’ digital wallets. Each reward of about $15 can be converted to local fiat currencies such as the Nigerian Naira or Ghanaian Cedis via the Sesacash app.
A spokesperson for the project told CoinDesk via email that at first rewards will come from the Telos Worker Proposal System but in the future, the funds will come from NGOs that want to use the data for weather forecasting and research.
“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,” Douglas Horn, chief architect of the Telos blockchain, said in a statement to the press.
The project has so far completed eight launches.
Starting out, Telokanda plans to have each university launch one balloon per week, scaling up to daily launches by 2021, the spokesperson said.