Swiss company Meteomatics is working with Thales to explore using drones to capture meteorological data for faster, more accurate, and cheaper weather forecasts. The company hopes to replace the traditional balloons, satellite, airborne, and ground-based techniques.
Current weather forecasting methods are expensive, only provide data on a specific area as it isn’t portable, and can fail to create accurate data during extreme weather conditions. Some of the equipment used can also only do one thing, which results in the need for more equipment, therefore, raising costs.
Using a drone equipped with the correct sensors and modules can solve all of the issues mentioned above. Not only isn’t the drone affected by weather conditions, but it can be flown into any area needing accurate data while keeping equipment costs down in the long run.
The company has worked with Thales to produce two drones, the Meteodrone MM-641 and MM-670. Both have different characteristics and advantages but ultimately work together to create an accurate weather forecast for their flying area.
The company has created an observing system that can measure detailed readings of the temperature, humidity, air pressure, and wind to mount onto the drones. This allows the drones to predict things like hail or extreme weather conditions. The company’s Meteobase ground-based system will also be used with the drones to act as a communication link between them and the control center.
The company has already successfully demonstrated the drones in use, with current plans to fly them to 8,000 m (~26,200 ft) above sea level to take on stronger winds and show off the drones to an international audience for possible purchasing opportunities.
Meteomatics finished with:
“The key to that is Meteomatics’ high-resolution forecast enhanced with measurements of its own weather drone, the “Meteodrone.” Through a combination of Meteorological and Data Engineering expertise, Meteomatics has developed a unique model for hyperlocal forecasting. Enriching high-quality national weather data with precise measurements of the mid and lower atmosphere, gathered by its Meteodrones.”
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