Utah State's Advanced Weather Systems lab to Build Space-Based Sensors

Feb 08, 2013, 20:20 ET from Utah State University

LOGAN, Utah, Feb. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Utah State University announced today that it has created a new organization to advance the research, development and deployment of critical weather sensor technologies.  USU's Advanced Weather Systems laboratory, which is a DBA of Utah State University's wholly owned subsidiary, the Advanced Weather Systems Foundation, houses a premier weather sensor technology team that will build state of the art weather sensors to provide critical weather information to customers.

Building upon Utah State's rich heritage of designing, manufacturing and testing state-of-the-art space based sensors at the Space Dynamics Laboratory, AWS will build the STORM -- Sounding & Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology -- instrument for its strategic partner, GeoMetWatch, a privately held company focused on the commercial development of technologically advanced space weather and environmental observation systems.  The products and services from GeoMetWatch are available globally under an innovative fee-for-service data-buy model that enables its clients to meet their critical atmospheric data needs with optimum efficiency and affordability.

"We look forward to working with the innovative team at GeoMetWatch as they enable forecasters to better predict the path of hurricanes, give emergency planners more accurate weather data, and alert forecasters to potential severe weather development," said Robert Behunin, Utah State's vice president of commercialization and member of the Advanced Weather Systems Foundation Board of Directors.  "The AWS-built sensor will be the first of a constellation of hyperspectral sounders and is scheduled to be ready for a launch into geosynchronous orbit to serve as a one of the most advanced weather sensors to date."

STORM will be the first in a series of the GeoMetWatch constellation of satellites and is based on the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer instrument built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory earlier this decade.  GIFTS was successfully tested and calibrated as an engineering demonstration unit to ground‐validate technologies critical to NOAA's Hyperspectral Environmental Suite program for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system.

AWS is uniquely positioned to work with and leverage public/private partnerships because of its affiliation with Utah State University and the State of Utah's Science Technology and Research (USTAR) program. AWS has, at its command, resources and expertise which enable it to be flexible and responsive to a wide variety of business and commercial scenarios.

"As our work on the first STORM sensor progresses, we will have more to announce in the coming days and weeks," Behunin said.  "We are very pleased that AWS is moving forward and making great strides."

SOURCE Utah State University