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Industry News


UCI unveils satellite-based global drought severity index

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have created a new satellite-based drought severity index (DSI) for climate watchers worldwide. Relying on data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, the index adds terrestrial water storage (groundwater) to drought assessments, augmenting commonly used tools most often based on the amount of precipitation.

Isabella Velicogna, UCI professor of Earth system science, said, “Reliable information on the frequency and intensity of drought conditions is of utmost importance to climate and meteorological scientists and government officials – and to assess drought impacts on vegetation, food production and water resources. This new tool provides for accurate and continuous drought monitoring, which is necessary for effective water management and impact assessment.” - December 2017

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Vaisala and WindSim publish methodology for collecting wind measurements in remote regions

Environmental measurement specialist Vaisala has collaborated with WindSim, a pioneer in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, on a study that demonstrates how the effects of complex terrain on wind measurements collected by remote sensing units can be mitigated. The collaboration has included the most extensive complex terrain validation of remote sensing data undertaken in the wind energy sector to date.

The results establish a methodology for considerably reducing the uncertainty of data collected by the Triton Wind Profiler in complex terrain, opening the door to more effective measurement campaigns in areas of untapped resource.
- December 2017

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Biral lightning detection system installed at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands

Biral, a leading manufacturer of meteorological sensors, has completed the installation of its BTD-300 Thunderstorm Detector at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands, a military transport base for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Marcel de Pee, commanding officer, 941 Squadron at Royal Netherlands Air Force, said, “Our airport meteorologist is promptly alerted if there are discharges within 3.6km (2.2 miles) of the airport, which protects our employees and passengers so all operations can be shut down.” - December 2017

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EarthSense releases real-time map of air pollution in the UK

EarthSense Systems has published MappAir – the first-ever high-resolution nationwide map of air pollution.

EarthSense combines data from satellites, its own air quality monitoring systems and open source data, to create the highly accurate digital map. Initially available for the whole of the UK at 100m (328ft) resolution, MappAir shows how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the country and within towns and cities, highlighting likely sources and potential clean-air refuge areas.
- December 2017

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Vaisala launches range of humidity and temperature probes

Vaisala, a specialist in environmental and industrial measurements, has introduced a set of interchangeable smart probes for humidity measurements in demanding environments. The new probes are convenient to use either as independent digital transmitters or connected with the Vaisala Indigo host devices.

The new Vaisala Humicap humidity and temperature probes HMP4, HMP5, HMP7 and HMP8, and the Vaisala temperature probe TMP1, are all part of Vaisala’s Indigo product family and will complement the existing GMP250 series and the HPP272. - December 2017

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Robert Varley elected as first vice president for WMO

Robert Varley, chief executive of the Met Office in the UK, has been elected first vice president of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Varley is the UK’s permanent representative to WMO, and a member of the WMO executive council.

Varley will support David Grimes, WMO president and assistant deputy minister for Environment and Climate Change Canada. Grimes presides over the sessions of congress and the executive council, which guide WMO activities in research and services related to weather, water and climate. - December 2017

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WMO report: 2017 one of the warmest years on record

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2017 is on target to become one of the warmest years on record, and has been affected by many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes, floods, debilitating heatwaves and drought. - November 2017

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NASA and NOAA launch JPSS-1 weather satellite

On November 18, the USA launched the first of its new generation of advanced polar-orbiting meteorological satellites, Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1), which became known as NOAA-20 once it reached orbit. - November 2017

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China’s FY-3D weather satellite deployed successfully

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has successfully launched its new polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, Fengyun-3D (FY-3D), which will provide early weather warnings to help reduce the impact of natural disasters. - November 2017

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Thales Alenia Space to work with UK Space Agency and CNES on carbon monitoring satellite mission

Aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with the UK Space Agency to work on MicroCarb, a joint UK-French satellite mission to measure global sources and sinks of carbon, the source of the principal human-caused greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which drives global warming. - November 2017

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Lufft weather sensor tested at Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is one of the most popular competitions for solar vehicles in the world. The race took place in mid-October and traveled 3,000km (1,864 miles) across Australia. With the help of the Lufft WS504 intelligent weather sensor, the Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team finished in the top three. - November 2017

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Barry Logue appointed lidar wind energy solutions manager for NRG Systems

NRG Systems, a designer and manufacturer of smart sensor technologies, has appointed Barry Logue as the company’s lidar wind energy solutions manager. Logue, a veteran in the remote sensing space, will be responsible for all sales and account management for NRG’s lidar products and services in North America. - November 2017

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NOAA allocates funding to support American Meteorological Society teaching programmes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Education has earmarked US$2.3m to support a long-term partnership with the American Meteorological Society (AMS). - October 2017

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Finnish team to pilot air quality monitoring technologies in China

Vaisala, a Finnish manufacturer of environmental measurement technologies, has partnered with the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) to monitor air pollution in China with the aim of developing a next-generation air quality station capable of 3D modelling. - October 2017

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Hurricane damage costs could increase by 70% by 2100, research finds

US researchers have shown that financial losses from hurricanes could increase by more than 70% by 2100 if oceans warm at the rate predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). - October 2017

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Scientists uncover arid region rainfall trends that challenge commonly held climate change theories

An analysis of 50 years of rainfall data in arid regions by researchers at Cardiff University and the University of Bristol in the UK has shown a decline in rainfall intensity, despite an increase in total rainfall. - October 2017

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German meteorology project to reveal fine dust and air pollution in cities

German researchers are developing a measurement and analysis system that can better predict air quality in cities by combining existing meteorological data sources with data from road traffic air quality sensors, drone flights and citizens’ smartphones. - October 2017

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Meteorologists take tips from Twister movie to gather tornado data

Meteorologists from Penn State College, Pennsylvania, have taken inspiration from the movie Twister to develop a way to capture thermodynamic data within and around a tornado. The data obtained will help explain how tornadoes are formed.
- October 2017

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Researchers to find more wind energy with improved Atlas

The New European Wind Atlas, which is being produced by 2020, will improve wind energy assessments and provide a new standard for where to site wind farms, experts have said. - September 2017

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NOAA to launch polar-orbiting satellite

The USA’s National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is set to launch the first in a series of four polar-orbiting weather satellites, JPSS-1, on November 10. - September 2017

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Meteorologists mark 30 years of successful ozone treaty

Meteorologists and environmentalists have marked the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol in September and launched a campaign to raise awareness of its success. - September 2017

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Researchers integrate gravity waves into prediction models

German meteorologists are developing a way to incorporate the influence of gravity waves
in weather prediction models. - September 2017

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Mount Stapylton radar switched on and ready for Australia’s storm season

The Mount Stapylton weather radar in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, has been reactivated following the completion of a month-long mid-life upgrade. - September 2017

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ESA Sentinel-5P atmospheric monitoring satellite set for launch

The European Space Agency’s latest satellite, Sentinel-5P, which will monitor the atmosphere for trace gases, has been shipped to its launch site in Plesetsk, Russia, and is set to launch during October. - September 2017

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WMO opens regional office in Singapore

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has opened a new office in Singapore to serve the Asia-Pacific region. It is the first time a WMO regional office will be located within Asia and the South-West Pacific and is the second regional office to relocate from Geneva. - August 2017

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Biral adds test functionality to range of visibility and present weather sensors

Sensor manufacturer Biral has announced that it has added a new test function to its entire range of visibility and present weather sensors. - August 2017

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Harris provides Advanced Meteorological Imager for Korean weather satellite

Technology developer Harris Corporation has delivered an advanced digital weather satellite instrument to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute that will help forecasters safeguard people in the region from typhoons and other severe weather. - August 2017

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Met Office to operate on-site at NATS control center in Hampshire

In an industry first for the UK, the Met Office has announced that it will deploy a team of meteorologists all year round at the NATS control center in Hampshire, one of two control centers responsible for providing air traffic navigation services for UK controlled airspace. - August 2017

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AccuWeather’s range of services on show at Meteorological Technology World Expo 2017

AccuWeather, one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing weather companies, will be demonstrating its range of customized content available through the AccuWeather.com website, the company’s award-winning AccuWeather apps, and the AccuWeather Network television channel. - August 2017

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GAMIC to unveil newly developed intermediate frequency digitizer for nautical applications

Developed for use by Applied Physical Sciences (APS), a subsidiary of US aerospace and defense firm General Dynamics, GAMIC will unveil its new 500 MHz Intermediate Frequency Digitizer (IFD) at this year’s Meteorological Technology World Expo in Amsterdam. The IFD is intended for high-resolution applications in APS’s FutureWaves system, a Sea Wave and Vessel Motion Forecasting System. - August 2017

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BHGE to unveil latest water depth sensor at Meteorological Technology World Expo

The new water depth sensor with SDI-12 communication protocol from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) – which the company is officially launching at this year’s Meteorological Technology World Expo – is the latest addition to its range of highly-accurate barometers and advanced water depth sensors and suite of pressure calibration equipment. - July 2017

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FTS to launch automated observation system at Meteorological Technology World Expo

At this year’s Meteorological Technology World Expo, FTS will launch its new Remote Automated Observation System (RAOS), a camera-based solution that delivers a new dimension of environmental monitoring. - July 2017

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WMO president outlines strategic perspectives on new era for weather satellites

A top-level World Meteorological Organization (WMO) delegation has given its strategic perspectives on a new era for environmental satellites as part of a keynote speech at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Satellite Conference, held in New York on July 17-20, 2017. - July 2017

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Met Office embarks on new Southeast Asia partnership

The UK’s Met Office is working with organizations in Malaysia and the Philippines to develop advice related to high-impact weather events. - July 2017

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Meteo France pledges to help Pakistan improve early warning and weather services

Pakistan and France have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deepen scientific cooperation in the field of meteorology. The MoU was signed by Moin ul Haque, ambassador of Pakistan to France, and Jean-Marc Lacave, CEO of Meteo France. - July 2017

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3D nowcasting system provides torrential rain warnings 10 minutes in advance

An international team of scientists has developed a new 3D nowcasting system that is said to predict the likelihood of precipitation in a given location 10 minutes in advance. The solution uses a combination of phased-array radar and computer algorithms that make predictions based on the data gathered from the radars. - July 2017

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Munich Re develops Tornado VR experience

Munich Reinsurance America Inc. (Munich Re, US) has developed an immersive Tornado Virtual Reality Experience to help people and businesses understand the devastation wrought by tornados and the need to embrace resiliency to help reduce future property losses and save lives. - July 2017

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WMO and FAO sign climate MoU

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to further their joint response to climate variability and change. - June 2017

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New Australian AWS in Adelaide

Installation of a new Adelaide automatic weather station (AWS) will allow the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to recommence the collection of climate records at a site where their collation dates back more than 160 years. The new AWS is located in the Park Lands (a public park that rings the city centre) at West Terrace. - June 2017

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European climatology research boosted by new supercomputer

A new supercomputer from Bull, an Atos technology brand, will boost climatology research in France as well as across Europe.

Due to be delivered to GENCI (Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif) in Paris, France, by the end of 2017, the Bull Sequana supercomputer has an overall power of 9 petaflops and can carry out 9 million billion operations per second. It will be made available to French and European researchers for use in academic and industrial fields that require extremely high computing and data processing power. - June 2017

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UK university employs Biral detector for cloud electrification research project

Meteorological equipment specialist Biral has installed a thunderstorm detector at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at the Chilbolton Observatory near Andover in the UK.

The Biral BTD-300 sits alongside cloud radars, and is being used by a team from the University of Reading to investigate the early stages of thunderstorm electrification. The academics hope to shed light on how some convective clouds become strongly electrified. - June 2017

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Innovim in NOAA contract win

Innovim has won a ProTech-Satellite Domain small-business contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the USA.

Part of a suite of multiple-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, it will support the full range of satellite activities, including satellite missions, and management of the environmental data resulting from those missions. - June 2017

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Breakthrough in hurricane study

Researchers believe they have found a new way to monitor the intensity and location of hurricanes from hundreds of miles away by detecting atmospheric waves that radiate from a storm’s centre. - May 2017

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Biral and Microstep-MIS win Nepal project

Meteorological specialist Biral and information system manufacturer MicroStep-MIS are to supply 88 automatic weather stations (AWS) in Nepal as part of the country’s Building Resilience to Climate Related Hazards project.

The 16-month project will see the partners work with Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. - May 2017

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Cyclone forecast programme launches in Australia

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has announced a new research programme aimed at delivering better tropical cyclone forecasts for offshore facilities. The two-year programme will use new meteorological modelling designed to produce longer-range and more detailed tropical cyclone forecasts. - May 2017

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Lufft launches new snow depth sensor

In its third product launch in as many weeks, meteorological measurement specialist Lufft has brought the SHM31 laser-based snow depth sensor to market.

The new tool measures snow depths of up to 15m in seconds. It is the successor to the SHM30, launched by Jenoptik in mid-2009, and part of Lufft’s range of optical sensors since 2014. - May 2017

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WMO launches dust report

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has launched its first annual Airborne Dust Bulletin.

The bulletin, issued on 12 April, provides an overview of atmospheric dust levels and geographical distribution in 2016. Estimates of dust content were derived from daily forecasts from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast. - April 2017

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Meteosat-7 decommissioned

Meteosat-7, the last first-generation Meteosat geostationary spacecraft, has been decommissioned after almost 20 years of service.

The final command was sent at 09:00 UTC on 11 April, ending the service record not only of one spacecraft, but of the whole Meteosat first-generation mission begun by the European Space Agency in 1977. - April 2017

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Drones allow measurements within volcanic clouds

A team of volcanologists and engineers from the universities of Bristol and Cambridge in the UK has collected measurements from directly within volcanic clouds, together with visual and thermal images of inaccessible volcano peaks.

A recent 10-day research trip saw the team carry out several proof-of-concept flights at the summits of both Volcán de Fuego and Volcán de Pacaya in Guatemala. Using lightweight modern sensors, they measured temperature, humidity and thermal data within the volcanic clouds and took images of multiple eruptions in real time. - April 2017

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JPSS upgrade improves weather data delivery

Aerospace firm Raytheon has completed an upgrade and final testing of the data transport and processing system for the Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System (JPSS), which provides weather and environmental data used by NASA, NOAA, the US Department of Defense and the three agencies’ international partners. - April 2017

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ISS investigation capability boosted

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft delivered more than 7.6 metric tons of cargo to the International Space Station on 22 April.

Orbital ATK’s seventh cargo delivery flight to the station launched on 18 April on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. The spacecraft will remain at the space station until July before its destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. - April 2017

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Higher sensitivity and greater range resolution

Models that forecast atmospheric events represent complex relationships between many factors, including the impact of natural and man-made aerosols on local and global climates. By gathering detailed data over time, our understanding of the composition and movement of aerosols expands. Sigma Space’s new high-definition Mini Micro Pulse Lidar (MiniMPL-HD) remote sensing system provides greater granularity for assessing airborne particles and supports increased accuracy in predictive analysis. - March 2017

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Sun glitter helps monitor waves

Scientists are using sun glitter in images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite mission to map wave movement.

Use of measurements of roughness from satellite sensors is not new, but by capturing the glitter of sunlight on water, Sentinel-2’s multispectral camera can provide a wealth of information about the direction, height and movement of waves. - March 2017

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New study of space weather “scientific gold nuggets”

A new, highly sensitive GPS receiver will help detect subtle fluctuations in the signals from GPS satellites on the International Space Station (ISS).

Developed by engineers at Cornell University in the USA, the FOTON (Fast Orbital TEC for Orbit and Navigation) GPS receiver arrived at the ISS last month on board the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It will study ‘space weather’ – charged particles in the plasma of space that affect the performance of communications and navigation satellites. - March 2017

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First images received from China’s latest weather satellite

Fengyun-4, the first of China’s second-generation geostationary orbiting weather satellites, has sent its first collection of images and data. - March 2017

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Nanosatellites deployed in vertical profile drive

Spire Global has developed, tested and deployed a constellation of nanosatellites with high-quality global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers. - March 2017

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Canada strengthens climate investment

Environment and Climate Change Canada has announced its latest investment in state-of-the-art weather-prediction information technology and radar modernization. - March 2017

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Research equipment mission approach aborted

A mission carrying more than 2.5 tonnes of research equipment, cargo and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has failed to dock.

A problem with the GPS system occurred on 22 February, three days into the mission, when the SpaceX supply ship Dragon was less than a mile from the ISS. The approach was aborted, although NASA has since confirmed that neither the station nor its six-person crew were in any danger. Another attempt is to be made on Thursday, 23 February. - February 2017

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New weather alerts not dependent on networks

The Weather Company and its parent group IBM have introduced new mesh network alerts technology that will help keep cell phone users connected even when internet connection is limited or power outages have caused network disruptions. - February 2017

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NOAA names SETS contract winner

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a US$113m Systems Engineering and Technical Services (SETS) contract to Vencore, a Virginia-based information solutions provider. - February 2017

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A lidar lightning first

In a national first, US scientists have used high-resolution lidar data to determine lightning’s impact on tropospheric ozone.

Scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) have used the university’s Rocket-city Ozone Quality Evaluation in the Troposphere (RO3 QET) lidar to measure ozone that was chemically produced by summertime lightning over the USA. Following further development, the research could play an important role in air quality prediction and assessment. - February 2017

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South Doodlakine Doppler radar images now online

Images from Australia’s South Doodlakine Doppler radar are now available on the website of the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology. - February 2017

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NOAA announces US$45m contract decision

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded the National Mesonet Program contract to SGT, a Greenbelt, Maryland-based provider of IT, engineering, operations and science services. - January 2017

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Campbell Scientific releases addition to CR300-series datalogger range

Campbell Scientific has revealed the latest addition to its CR300-series measurement and control dataloggers.

The CR310 has the capabilities of the CR300 but benefits from the addition of removable connectors and an integrated 10/100 Ethernet connection. - January 2017

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New app to provide timely satellite rain data

The University of California, Irvine, has launched smartphone app iRain, which aims to “put precision rainfall information into the pockets of the public”.

The free app, which is available for iPhone and Android devices, will use satellite rain data from the university’s weather tracking and analysis system. - January 2017

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Combitech to supply D-ATIS and ATIS to Sweden’s four busiest airports

Combitech, part of the defence and security group Saab AB, has won a contract to supply a digital automated terminal information service system (D-ATIS) and ATIS to Stockholm Arlanda, Bromma Stockholm, Göteborg Landvetter and Malmö Sturup airports in Sweden. - January 2017

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Biral boosts sensor offering

Meteorological equipment specialist Biral has launched a new road weather sensor, the RWS-20, designed for the harsh roadside environment. - January 2017

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Breakthrough in ice charting

BMT Argoss, part of the BMT Group, has launched a new ice charting capability. The new capability will work alongside the company’s existing weather forecasting services. As part of its development, several senior BMT meteorologists took part in a training programme at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) in Copenhagen, Denmark. - January 2017

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