GrandSky Executes Agreement with TruWeather Solutions and Meteomatics

Grand Sky Development Company, LLC (GrandSky) has entered into a pair of multi-year contracts to develop a robust weather data collection system to provide precise forecasts for Uncrewed  Aircraft System (UAS) operations.

GrandSky entered into agreements with TruWeather, a leading provider of weather data analytics and risk management products, and Meteomatics a leader in meteorological technology and developer of the Meteodrone, a small UAS used to collect weather data. The goal of these agreements is to develop precise and comprehensive weather measurements, models and forecasts for UAS operations from and around Grand Sky.

Weather is one of the greatest risks during Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations and this new GrandSky weather project will begin to reduce that risk and allow for more flight operations based on very accurate forecasts that are updated frequently. 

TruWeather Solutions’ customized translation of real-time and predictive micro-weather data will allow GrandSky to predict and analyze weather phenomena detectable at one kilometer or better. Additionally, forecast services will sharpen resource scheduling, planning, and mission execution resulting in safer, more productive operations and business success.

“This will allow GrandSky to detect weather phenomena that might negatively impact flight operations that other forecasts can’t see or detect,” said Thomas Swoyer, President of GrandSky. “One of the tools GrandSky will use includes the Meteodrone, a ‘mobile micro-weather station,’ which will enable GrandSky to obtain the highest quality real-time weather insights up to 16,900 feet above the Earth’s surface that traditional weather sensing and radar cannot.”

The data collected by the Meteodrone will be incorporated into a high-resolution computer forecast model for North Dakota developed by Meteomatics that will power TruWeather’s decision analytics. According to Swoyer, current data collection and forecasting methods are not granular enough to capture weather that impacts UAS, particularly beyond-line-of-sight operations.

“Low-level winds, visibility, icing, and cloud heights can impact UAS operations regularly and our ability to know what to expect, even a few hours in the future, can make a big difference,” Swoyer said. “We are excited to bring more precise and comprehensive weather prediction to GrandSky and our partners. These improvements in accurate weather sensing will result in more flights from and around Grand Sky.”

The goal is to provide weather modeling and forecasting for aviation services at GrandSky and ultimately, across North Dakota. GrandSky expects improved accuracy of weather sensing for small and large UAS operations, including electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). Traditional forecasting relies on masking gaps in weather coverage by estimating what might be there. TruWeather Solutions has focused on these weather gap challenges and compiled a constellation of novel sensors to close weather measurement gaps where satellites cannot provide adequate coverage.

“We’re flying UAS to collect data and imagery for a variety of commercial purposes.  We collect imagery so we don’t have to guess about where things are and in what amounts; the same should hold true for weather,” Swoyer said. “We need to fly UAS to support accurate data collection to create very accurate forecasts. Meteodrone gives us the opportunity to collect a lot of weather data many times a day to constantly improve the forecast, which is a key advantage over traditional weather balloon launches. UAS operations can be very easily disrupted by weather. In North Dakota we see fronts moving across the area that produce high winds in one location but just nine miles away, the air is still. We need to be prepared when launching and flying BVLOS.”

“We appreciate the partnership with Grand Sky to provide cutting edge weather forecasting consultation to help with flight decision making, safety and scheduling,” TruWeather Solutions CEO Don Berchoff said. “Over the next several months we will work together to roll out the customized user interface, conduct drone application testing, and execute to close micro-weather data gaps, reduce uncertainty and risk of each operation which leads to enhanced safety-of-flight and repeatable large BVLOS operations.”

About Grand Sky

Grand Sky is the first commercial UAS-focused business park in the United States. Located on Grand Forks Air Force Base near Grand Forks, North Dakota, the 217-acre business and aviation park provides unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry tenants with unmatched research, development, training testing amenities, including authorization for large UAS BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights in partnership with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. Grand Sky offers 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office, shop, laboratory and data collection space available on a build-to-suit basis with financing available. For more information, visit grandskynd.com.

About TruWeather

TruWeather Solutions is a leading innovator in micro-weather sensing, modeling and decision insights for weather sensitive government activities, industries, and companies.  TruWeather was founded in 2015 with the mission of accelerating the transition of weather science and technology into commercial systems to reduce the impact of weather on the US economy. TruWeather is a leading provider of weather data analytics and innovative weather risk management products for low level aviation and ground transportation systems. Their focus is on flight-time, battery life and revenue generation per airframe, especially in edge case circumstances. Their product, TruFlite V360 SaaS API and web application is the first on the market to provide one-stop-shop customized weather awareness for drone and air taxi dispatch and command centers, airspace managers and operators.  A proprietary, scalable data fusion and analytics layer creates custom decision insights based on user location, mission profile, weather sensitivities and Go/No weather hazard criteria.  The platform can quickly plug and play new sensors and data sets to close micro-weather data gaps to reduce uncertainty and risk as the AAM industry evolves. For more information, visit truweathersolutions.com

About Meteomatics

Meteomatics is the global leader in weather intelligence, providing the most accurate weather forecasts as well as historical weather and climate data worldwide. By combining unique in-house technology, such as Meteodrones and High-Resolution Weather models, with greatest aspiration and outstanding skills, Meteomatics transforms weather forecasting to a whole new level by providing direct access to weather forecasts with hyperlocal resolution as well as historical weather and climate data to all industries. Our solutions are developed with local and global customers together, tailored to their needs, resulting in a significant improvement of our customer’s business activities. Meteomatics is headquartered in St.Gallen, Switzerland and employs around 60 people in multiple countries.

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