Earth Networks introduces predictive weather offering for commercial UAS market



Ahead of the InterDrone conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Earth Networks, which provides weather intelligence platforms, announced the launch of Sferic DroneFlight, which is an “advanced predictive weather offering specifically designed for rapidly growing commercial drone markets” within public safety, oil and gas, and construction, to name a few.

According to Earth Networks, Sferic DroneFlight delivers “hyperlocal wind forecasts for any latitude and longitude in the world.” This is significant for commercial UAS operations, as this platform answers the need for advanced weather data and helps with various aspects of UAS flights.

Commercial UAS operations tend to take place in the 10-400 foot low-altitude range, so wind speed and direction data are especially important for this area.

According to Earth Networks, this range is too high to exclusively use traditional surface-level wind data, and is too low for wind data utilized by airlines operating at significantly higher altitudes.

Using Sferic DroneFlight, the forecast is available at “10-meter altitude increments and hourly intervals for out to 6 days.”

This capability improves commercial UAS flight safety and efficiency at all three phases of UAS operations, which are pre-flight planning, in-flight operations, and post-flight analysis.

“Until now, drone operators have had to plan missions by relying on surface-level weather information or high-altitude measurements provided to commercial airlines, neither of which provides the needed intelligence to optimize missions,” says Anuj Agrawal, Chief Marketing Officer at Earth Networks.

“Our new low-altitude Sferic DroneFlight offers the ideal vertical resolution needed for operators to assess relevant weather conditions.”

Agrawal adds, “as the drone market and regulatory environment continue to evolve, weather intelligence will be a key technology to enable longer and beyond line of sight missions.”

Sferic DroneFlight builds on a long-standing partnership between Earth Networks and Global Weather Corporation (GWC), which is “one of the world’s most accurate forecast providers.”

Through this partnership, Sferic DroneFlight will provide unique benefits that allow commercial UAS operators to optimize UAS mission timing, maximize UAS flight duration and extend geo-fencing for severe weather, among other things.

In international markets where weather intelligence is unavailable a lot of the times, Sferic DroneFlight complements a “predictive convective storm algorithm” called Earth Networks Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts.

The algorithm is powered by Earth Networks’ “hyperlocal early warning networks of 10,000 weather sensors and 1,500 lightning sensors covering 90 countries.”

Around the world, UAS operators can use Sferic DroneFlight and Earth Networks Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts together to identify weather conditions that could potentially be disruptive such as high winds, hail, and precipitation.