Meteodrone Climate Forecasting – DRONELIFE

Meteomatics’ Meteodrone Launched as Part of GrandSKY’s Micro Weather Service

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

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Today, weather intelligence and technology company Meteomatics launched its first US Meteodrone autonomous flight system at North Dakota’s GrandSKY aviation park. Meteodrone is capable of reaching altitudes of up to 20,000 feet to fill the meteorological data gap in the lower and mid atmosphere–regions, crucial for predictability and reliability in aviation and business forecasting.

Meteomatics is collaborating with GrandSKY and low altitude weather technology specialist TruWeather Solutions to develop the US’s first state-wide micro weather service in North Dakota. Meteomatics’ high-resolution forecast model accounts for all weather details, data points and parameters in a given square kilometer, and will power TruWeather’s analytics decision to enable real-time weather forecasts nine times more granular than the best available government services. The service will provide GrandSKY’s Weather Operations Center with the most accurate weather intelligence available, enabling it to detect weather conditions which affect flight decision making, safety and scheduling.

Meteodrone can be operated manually from a remote Ground Control Station, or autonomously take off and land vertically when paired with the Meteobase autonomous drone station. GrandSKY has been granted special FAA approval to fly the Meteodrone up to 9,000 feet, as opposed to the usual clearance of 400 feet. Meteomatics has developed an extremely high-resolution weather model for Europe, known as the EURO1k. The company has now developed the North Dakota 1K model as the basis of its weather intelligence in North Dakota.

“The work we’re doing with GrandSKY and TruWeather Solutions showcases the real-world need for extremely accurate weather data, and how it can affect mission-critical decisions around the clock,” said Meteomatics CEO of North America, Paul Walsh. “This isn’t just true of the aviation space; Weather plays a huge role in how organizations operate across the world. We are proud of our new partnership, the light it will shine on the current gaps in visibility, and the opportunities that will open as a result of filling them.”

The Meteodrone launch and collaboration both received the support of Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, who has been largely responsible for making Grand Forks the country’s UAS epicenter. The state’s flat landscape enables weather systems to move quickly, and can lead to sudden changes in temperature and precipitation, all of which pose a risk to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. After launching in North Dakota, Meteomatics intends to expand across the US and through industries such as energy, automotive, aviation, agriculture, insurance and supply chain.

“We pride ourselves on many firsts in the UAS field; this new micro-weather service will now be a first for the state and the country. More importantly, it will result in reduced risk and more flights from and around GrandSKY,” said GrandSKY President Thomas Swoyer Jr. “We’ve been working with an exceptional team to develop ‘first of its kind’ capabilities and processes here at GrandSKY. Meteomatics, TruWeather Solutions, Northern Plains Test Site and the 319th Reconnaissance Wing each brought unique skill sets to get this project where it is. Together, we’ve developed a robust weather data collection system, unlike anything else in the country, so we can bring high accuracy weather forecasts to GrandSKY.”

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

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