Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) and GeoMetWatch Corp have announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership to host the first of six Sounding and Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology (Storm) instruments. This first Storm instrument will be on board a new satellite planned to be launched by AsiaSat in 2016.
“We are pleased to have reached this cooperation agreement with GeoMetWatch. We are excited to take part in this ground-breaking project that will provide advanced data to improve weather forecasting, natural disaster monitoring and climate modelling. This new partnership with GeoMetWatch will open up new opportunities to expand our satellite services into new areas, and allow us to explore a new source of revenue for the company,” says William Wade, President and CEO of AsiaSat.
“GeoMetWatch’s partnership with AsiaSat is a significant step towards the implementation of our global geostationary hyperspectral sounder constellation. The first Storm sensor will provide unprecedented atmospheric and weather data over Asia and the Pacific region, for which we have already had significant interest to purchase the data when available,” says David Crain, CEO of GeoMetWatch. “For the past 25 years, AsiaSat has been the pre-eminent satellite operator in Asia and we are pleased that our first Storm hyperspectral sounder will be hosted on their satellite.”
Planned for launch in 2016 and to be positioned at 122 deg East, this new AsiaSat satellite will host the first hyperspectral Storm sensor that will collect and return to Earth sophisticated and critical weather data not currently available. This hyperspectral data will enable meteorologists to provide better daily forecasts, predict severe weather and atmospheric instability more accurately, and improve location and storm tracking and analysis of the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons, resulting in earlier evacuations that can improve the preservation of lives and property.
“Storm will provide significantly earlier warning for severe weather and climate instability, and it will do so faster, more frequently and with finer detailed measurements than any capability in orbit today,” says Crain.
The first Storm sensor is currently being manufactured by Utah State University’s (USU) Advanced Weather Systems (AWS), which is part of Utah State’s rich heritage of designing, building and testing state-of-the-art space-based sensors. “AWS is thrilled to be a part of the GeoMetWatch-AsiaSat partnership,” says Robert T Behunin, Board Member of AWS and
Vice-President for Commercialisation of USU. “This unprecedented partnership and the activities that will come from it will revolutionise the weather sensor and data community; it will also provide a more efficient business model to secure and distribute weather data.”
Partnering with Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) of the University of
Wisconsin for expertise in hyperspectral algorithm development and data processing, the GeoMetWatch system will provide high-resolution, visible and infrared images of atmospheric conditions as well as a complete set of quasi-continuous measurements that are high resolution in vertical, spatial and temporal dimensions. These include profiles of temperature, water vapour, pressure, clouds and wind, 3D fields of aerosols, pollutants, and trace gases, volcanic ash and gases, weather instability, precipitation and flood forecasts, hurricane intensity and ground track, and other data. GeoMetWatch’s products and services will be available globally under an innovative fee-for-service, data-buy model that enables its clients to meet their critical atmospheric data needs with increased accuracy, efficiency and affordability.