Drones gaze into the future to predict the weather


The ever-growing list of applications for UAVs has been expanded once more with the addition of weather forecasting UAVS in Jersey.

Digital industries’ support organisation, Digital Jersey, has announced it is deploying a drone in a trial to examine how UAVs could aid weather forecasting, taking place on March 20.

Digital Jersey’s current weather data, provided by Jersey Met, comes from ground level or high level (above 2km) collection points, leaving the immediate atmosphere un-recorded.

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This Planetary Boundary Layer is where the Meteodrones fly to source information and then feed this detail into a model which uses all the weather information to come up with a high resolution local weather forecast.

Digital Jersey stated that its model enables ‘significantly improved’ forecasts for aviation relevant variables such as visibility, wind speed and direction.

Meteodrones are sophisticated miniature weather stations developed by Meteomatics that have already been engaged in successful trials involving US weather service NOAA, the US National Severe Storms Laboratory, the UK Met Office, and MeteoSwiss. The Meteodrones are authorised to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation.

CEO of Digital Jersey, Tony Moretta, said: “The data collected from these drones could provide benefits for all islanders as well as providing a rich data source for Internet of Things companies. It could be a valuable addition to our ambition to be the first whole-country sandbox testing environment, not only being a test-bed for Meteomatics themselves, but also enabling other developers to source detailed data for a variety of uses.”

Digital Jersey has revealed that Ports of Jersey are ‘particularly interested’ in the technology for aviation and shipping safety, and that it will also be meeting with Jersey Met, in the Department for the Environment, Jersey Water, Jersey Electricity, the Department for Infrastructure and the Jersey Royal Company, as well as presenting to the Digital Jersey IoT and Infrastructure Group.

Dr Martin Fengler, CEO of Meteomatics, added: “We are looking forward to showcasing the Meteodrones which can provide big benefits not only for weather forecasting, but also pollution monitoring and UVA level measurements. We have spent four years developing our sophisticated drones and there are many more uses for them. Partnering with agencies and developers as part of Sandbox Jersey could open new doors for us and for the island.”

Tags : drone trialdronesMeteodronesResearchweather forecast
Emma Calder

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