Weather and environmental measurement specialist Vaisala has upgraded its helideck monitoring system (HMS) with real-time lightning data from its global lightning data set GLD360, part of its Xweather suite of services.
Built to meet the demands of challenging offshore environments, Vaisala’s HMS now has access to real-time thunderstorm and lightning information from GLD360, with a global sensor network capable of detecting thunderstorms anywhere in the world, including oceans, seaports and other areas outside the range of weather radars.
Helicopter pilots, helideck operators and offshore authorities can now make informed ‘waiting on weather’ decisions that result in minimized operational downtime, improved route planning, and reduced cost and impact of weather disruptions.
Vaisala’s global lightning data network identifies 100% of global thunderstorms – including five to 10 times more lightning than any other global lightning network – and locates lightning with a median accuracy of 1km.
Mikko Nikkanen, head of maritime at Vaisala, said, “It’s all about safety and efficiency. Lightning can cause power outages, damage helicopters and infrastructure, and even put people in harm’s way. Monitoring lightning in real time to assess its impact is essential for protecting lives and assets and optimizing the timing of offshore helicopter takeoffs, landings, hoist operations and fueling. Our upgraded HMS allows offshore customers to stay ahead of the weather and gain oceans of actionable insight to boost their operations with confidence.”
Vaisala’s global support team has delivered hundreds of HMS to partners around the world. Other key features of the improved HMS include:
- The Vaisala Lightning Threat Zone provides nowcasts for storm and lightning trajectory in 10-minute increments up to 60 minutes out, advising when a location of interest may be affected
- With no capital investment needs or expensive offshore maintenance costs, the HMS eliminates the need to purchase, install or maintain single-point lightning detection sensors
- Vaisala’s global lightning network safeguards offshore operations with real-time lightning data with better than 99.99% availability
- Vaisala lightning detection networks are used by the US Navy, US Air Force, National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration and many large power utilities and commercial organizations globally
- The lightning data services are compatible with 4G LTE, 5G and all common satellite internet communication solutions used at sea with minimal bandwidth requirements
- The HMS complies with current CAP 437 and Helideck Certification Agency requirements, and its CAA-certified software adheres to international aviation regulations
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