Meteodrones for Weather Monitoring: NORCE, Meteomatics

Deploying Meteodrones for Accurate Weather Monitoring and Preparedness

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian J. McNabb

Swiss-based weather drone manufacturer Meteomatics recently announced a new multi-million euro partnership with the Norweigan government (via the Norweigan Research Center, or NORCE) that will help future-proof against unexpected climate and weather that might affect both citizens and critical infrastructure. 

As the rate of “billion-dollar events”, or natural disasters that cause more than $1 billion in damage, reached new heights worldwide last year (with over 66 separate incidents), the importance of accurate weather reporting and prediction has only increased. As these extreme events grow in both frequency and magnitude as a result of man-made global climate change, NORCE selected Meteomatics as a way of trying to get ahead of the curve and better prepare Norway for future economic and ecological challenges.

As part of the deal, NORCE will install 30 of Meteomatics’ “Meteodrones” around Norweigan airspace, forming a new network of sensors to more accurately follow weather patterns and movement at the lower-mid atmospheric level. 

DroneLife has previously reported on Meteodrones, a 6-rotor UAV that conducts weather prediction and observation at around 20,000 ft of elevation, well below most existing solutions (like satellites, radar, and planes), which fly much higher. Unlike a weather balloon, which is at the mercy of wind currents and cannot reliably return back to a launch site, the Meteodrone comes with its own ground control unit that shares a telemetric link with the original unit. This data is then streamed to EURO1k, Meteomatic’s high-resolution weather model with an unprecedented accuracy of up to 1km blocks to predict even non-disastrous weather (think fog or thunder) in real time. 

“NORCE will conduct scientific research to validate the EURO1K forecasts and compare their accuracy with other weather forecasts used by the Norwegian Army for tactical decision-making,” said Camilla Stoltenberg, CEO of NORCE. “Meteomatics shows great confidence by allowing us to validate and share the performance of their weather forecasts. This demonstrates that independent scientific research can significantly contribute to the successful transfer of such technology to Norway.” 

“We are honored to play a part in Norway’s forward-looking initiative to prepare itself for weather-related challenges. Our 30 Meteodrones and Meteobases will significantly improve the data basis for accurate weather forecasts across the entire country,” says Martin Fengler, CEO and Founder of Meteomatics.“The technology readiness of our Meteodrones has already been demonstrated in several countries, and we’re excited to see our Meteodrones take flight in Norway.”

More information on Meteomatics is available here

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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