USAF Selects Drone-Based Weather Sensing Technology for Prototype Development

GreenSight’s WeatherHive sensing technology uses swarms of nano-sized drones to directly measure atmospheric conditions By DA Staff / 17 Nov 2022
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GreenSight WeatherHive

GreenSight’s WeatherHive sensing technology has been selected by the US Air Force and the Defense Innovation Unit for a prototype development contract and potential procurement. 

Developed through a National Science Foundation-funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, GreenSight’s WeatherHive is a new, unique sensing technology that uses swarms of nano-sized drones to directly measure atmospheric conditions. 

This selection was made under the “Peacetime Indications and Warning: Global Weather Sensing” Commercial Solutions Opening.

According to GreenSight, WeatherHive’s sensing capabilities are highly unique, as there are no known technologies to directly sample the atmosphere over large areas at a reasonable cost. The WeatherHive system can transverse up to 50 square miles per flight, generating a dense 3D cube of measurements. 

The palm-sized WeatherHive nano unmanned aircraft weigh under 150 grams and are cost-effective and safe to use. They can fly up to 10 miles in a single flight, automatically launching and landing into their ‘hive’ for recharging and reuse. Remotely deployable and disposable, hundreds can be used at once to gather data in remote or contested areas, enabling the USAF to properly forecast weather conditions and inform military decision makers.

GreenSight believes WeatherHive data shows promise to enable new breakthroughs in weather forecasting and climate science. Armed with data from WeatherHive, weather forecasting models may be able to much more accurately predict tornado formation, severe storm behavior, wildfire movement and hurricane paths. GreenSight believes it is a promising new tool against increasingly common severe weather conditions.

“One of our most exciting new projects is kicking off. We’ve been working on this technology for years now and it meshes tightly with our company’s vision to use unmanned aircraft to enhance weather forecasting,” said James Peverill, CEO at GreenSight. “We’ve been working with National Science Foundation to apply this technology for predicting severe storms and wildfires, and now will be working with United States Air Force and Defense Innovation Unit to use it for military weather forecasting!”

‍GreenSight is developing WeatherHive using a selection of technology building blocks from the company’s robotics services platform, a suite of custom robotics hardware and software systems that facilitate developing innovative and impactful robotics technologies operating out in the real world where conditions and connectivity are not assured. 

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