Iris Automation adds TruWeather tech to Casia G system

Iris Automation TruWeather

Safety avionics specialist Iris Automation has made a meteorological enhancement to its Casia G ground-based surveillance system with the integration of TruWeather Solutions sensors and services – a move aiming to add climate security to the company’s aerial detect-and-avoid protection.

Nevada-based Iris Automation made the announcement Monday, saying the inclusion of TruWeather Solutions tech will provide accurate and cost-effective services to pilots and companies whose plans are frequently disrupted by unexpected or changing lower-altitude climatic conditions. Those disturbances are particularly acute in drone activity. The company says its newly meshed data network will provide clients with real-time integrated communications, collision avoidance, and micro weather data feeds to reduce or avoid those situations.

Addition of a precision weather utility was a natural step in Iris Automation’s wider objective of ensuring flight safety of, and between, crewed aircraft and drones The company says local micro weather and low-altitude atmospheric conditions often differ considerably from those at higher levels. That differential creates a larger degree of weather uncertainty for aerial service providers, who weigh safety factors heavily into whether they make flights as planned or not.

According to an MIT Lincoln Lab study funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), only 3% of the US currently has accurate surface weather and cloud ceiling report measurements. That limited coverage will likely disrupt drone and future advanced air mobility services even more than traditional aircraft already are – often needlessly.

“Up to 40% of crewed aviation flights that are either canceled or delayed due to weather could have flown,” says TruWeather CEO Don Berchoff. “Even higher scrub rates will occur for UAS flying beyond-visual-line-of-sight, with no pilot on board to spot problems, unless the surface and low altitude weather measurement gap can be closed. The industry requires even more low altitude weather measurements to increase data fidelity and flights per airframe.”

To fill that gap, Iris Automation has integrated TruWeather tech into Casia G non-radar, passive ground-based detect and avoid system. Central to that are improved placement and density optimization of climatic sensors that capture microscale features with rapid updating.

That, executives at both companies say, will add far-improved weather data and security to Iris Automation systems – which are already capable of identifying small aircraft at distances of 1.2 km with a 93.2% detection rate – and ensure reliable and safe drone use.

“Micro weather information is critical to commercial drone operations, avoiding aborted flights, and unnecessary risks and overhead in order to meet the FAA 107 weather minimums,” notes Iris Automation vice president of sales, marketing, and customer success Lori DeMatteis. “Combined with Casia G, the TruWeather solution provides up to the minute, highly localized climate information to ensure safe drone operations in one easy setup… This partnership will drive the expansion of BVLOS safety best practices, offering clients immediate value to ensure operational safety, and rapidly changing climate information for emergency preparedness activities, ensuring both public and personnel safety.” 

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