The Integrated Weather Observation System (IWOS) from Intellisense Systems has been selected as the official remote weather station employed by the US Air Force (USAF) to gather essential meteorological data from remote airfields in austere or denied areas.
According to Intellisense, the previous remote weather station, which was in use for over 20 years, consisted of up to 80 separate components, weighed approximately 100 lbs, and required at least 30 minutes and two to three service members to set up. The IWOS, by contrast, weighs just 25 lbs, fits inside a single case, and takes less than 15 minutes for one service member to install.
The company hopes this solution will greatly improve the efficiency of USAF operations and the safety of Air Force service members in hostile terrain where meteorological data is limited and needed.
Intellisense Systems was awarded multi-phase contracts to develop a mobile weather station that is competitive with larger, permanent environmental-monitoring systems in terms of range, resolution, and accuracy.
Leveraging its experience with the proven Micro Weather Station (MWS), the IWOS consolidates many weather observation capabilities using a ruggedized, interlocking cylindrical design. It combines over a dozen key weather parameters, including temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed/direction, and cloud layer height to 25,000 ft, with data processing, data logging, a solar power system, and secure communications to help maintain the USAF’s domain advantage anywhere in the world.
Intellisense developed the IWOS in response to a competitive solicitation through the US Department of Defense (DoD)’s Small Business Innovation Research Science & Technology Directorate (SBIR S&T).
“The IWOS is truly the next generation weather system for the DoD,” said David Miller, Vice-President and General Manager of Tactical Systems at Intellisense. “It is designed to supply warfighters with an all-in-one weather sensing solution in an innovative small form-factor package, and we are proud to be supporting our servicemen and women with an agile and highly accurate solution. It has taken three-and-a-half years to develop the IWOS, which is extremely fast for an industry where the incumbent competitors take over a decade to develop and qualify new sensor technology.”
The IWOS is currently in its final phase of development, which will focus on qualification testing and transitioning the system into full-rate production. It is being fully developed and manufactured at Intellisense’s headquarters in Torrance, California. This final development phase is expected to be completed in 2023, and the USAF hopes to begin replacing its existing systems around the world over the next few years.