Nation’s First Drone-Based Weather Service Launched in North Dakota

GrandSKY has received special Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly Meteomatics’ Meteodrone up to 9,000 feet

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

May 26, 2023

2 Min Read

An autonomous drone system has been launched in North Dakota, acting as the nation’s first done-based micro-weather system.

The system has been established at the GrandSKY aviation park at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota and will leverage weather technology from TruWeather Solutions. 

The new system was set up by Meteomatics, a weather intelligence company that forecasts weather events and their potential impact on businesses globally. Able to fly up to 20,000 feet above the Earth’s surface, the service fills an existing gap in satellite or radar imagery for weather forecasting, flying in the lower- and mid-atmosphere regions. 

This is where local weather phenomena, such as fog, precipitation, wind, hail, storms and fluctuating temperatures are created, and an area that could disrupt businesses’ supply chains and operations. 

GrandSKY, the nation’s first commercial uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) aviation park, has received special Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly Meteomatics’ Meteodrone up to 9,000 feet.

“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,” said Thomas Swoyer Jr, GrandSKY’s president. “More importantly, it will result in reduced risk and more flights from and around GrandSKY.”

By accurately identifying weather patterns and events in real-time, the GrandSKY team said the system could be leveraged to inform operations across not only heavy industries but also agriculture and aviation. 

Following its North Dakota debut, Meteomatics will continue its U.S. expansion across industries.

“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 Paul Walsh, Meteomatics’ CEO. “This isn’t just true of the aviation space; weather plays a huge role in how organizations across the world operate.”

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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