What is ‘Microweather’?
- The scale of microweather is known as 1 km x 1 km.
- Microweather requires extensive computing power and more detailed granular observations to produce reliable information.
- Ground-based sensors allow real-time verification of the forecast data and enhance the accuracy of the modeled forecast over time. In short, the sensors are the glue that makes the microweather process stick.
When faced with the daily task of deciphering weather information, consumers and businesses alike often wonder if the weather information provided to them is truly representative of their immediate environment and timescale. Ex: What will the wind be at 80m above my exact location in 30 minutes? What is the chance of a lightning strike at an outdoor event within the next hour?
The truth is that most weather information relayed is a conglomeration of sources with a variety of grid scales. Typical weather models range from 10km to 45km wide, while higher resolution models such have grid sizes of 3km. The question is, how small can weather grids get? Realistically, the answer is around 1km x 1km. This scale is known as a microweather environment.
There are many challenges in producing meaningful microweather information—the smaller the scale, the higher the resolution required to decipher weather phenomena occurring in real time. The smaller scale requires extensive computing power and more detailed granular observations to produce reliable information. Still, it involves a fair amount of statistical smoothing and averaging, which raises the uncertainty and risk of inaccuracy, and the shorter grid length will only produce reliable data out to around 4 hours.
TruWeather Solutions’ transformative vision to solve these microweather challenges will lead to increased trust and utilization of microweather data. By utilizing tools like CFD modeling (Computational Fluid Dynamics), machine learning, and remotely sensed instrumentation, TruWeather’s mission of delivering microweather solutions to customers will become a reality. With support from NASA, TruWeather established the first urban weather testbed in Hampton, Virginia aimed to support AAM operations. With the more granular view of winds achieved from the deployment of a diversified set of weather sensors, TruWeather is working to provide decision support tools such as the Wind Hazard information Location Service (WHILs). WHILS provides enhanced 3D wind fields (speed, direction, shear, and turbulence) for vertiports, their surrounding areas, and interconnected routes by utilizing a dense and diverse set of weather sensors to enable safer and more efficient flight routing.
This urban weather sensor testbed now serves as a model for the coordination between industry, nonprofit, university, and government stakeholders. These efforts obviated critical steps to establishing effective sensor and scanning wind lidar deployments, a process that TruWeather is taking to new locations to enable safe urban air mobility operations.
During times of erratic atmospheric conditions, there is an innate need for hyperlocal weather observations to stay alert and aware. Unfortunately, there is currently a scarcity of reliable ground-based weather observations. TruWeather Solutions is dedicated to establishing a broad network of onsite and remote-sensed tools that can provide an invaluable source of information for both public safety and commercial services. The ground-based sensors allow real-time verification of the forecast data and enhance the accuracy of the modeled forecast over time. In short, the sensors are the glue that makes the microweather process stick.
TruWeather’s combination of enhanced modeling and sensing solutions produces a visual interactive suite of tools in their V360 platform, that low-altitude flight operators can use to detect hazards and produce optimal routing decisions, which reduces risk and maximizes flight time. Having up-to-the-minute knowledge of the low-altitude conditions is especially important when drone operation is occurring remotely or beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS).