Innovation That Matters

| Photo source WindBorne Systems

AI and balloons for more advanced weather modelling


The forecasts enable earlier, and more effective, mitigation efforts against extreme climate events

Spotted: One of the four pillars of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) “Early Warnings for All” initiative is “detection, observation, monitoring, analysis, and forecasting.” As extreme weather and water events occur more frequently, communities need support in preparing for and recovering from disasters.

US-based WindBorne Systems is a weather intelligence company working to fill the gaps in atmospheric data by using fleets of smart balloons. The startup has created a weather forecast model called WeatherMesh that uses long-duration, autonomous, atmospheric sensing balloons to build a deeply detailed map of weather systems, the atmosphere, and remote locations around the globe.

The remotely directed balloons fly for around 40 days and provide real-time weather data. Because they are capable of changing altitude, they navigate around and through weather systems in any location, including oceans, deserts, and unpopulated regions. Each balloon captures 10-150 times more data than traditional weather balloons, and due to the length of time they are in the air, the system is far more affordable than other weather balloon technologies.

After data is collected by the balloons, WindBorne Systems uses its proprietary AI modelling platform to improve forecasting speed and accuracy. WindBorne Systems publishes real-time benchmarks for its data to continually monitor the accuracy of its medium-range forecasts.

Having recently raised $15 million in Series A funding, the company plans to scale the size of its fleet in order to meet its goal of operating 10,000 balloons by 2028. Commercial trials should be available later in 2024 for organisations in industries ranging from agriculture, utilities, hospitality, insurance, aviation, and more.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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