Boston-based weather intelligence specialist Tomorrow.io has been awarded a US$19.3m contract by the US Air Force to support the deployment of its radar-equipped meteorological satellites.
The contract paves the way for a commercially owned constellation of approximately 32 small satellites to provide global coverage of 3D precipitation and other critical weather and ocean observations, with much faster revisit times than currently available.
Tomorrow.io will offer Data as a Service from its spaceborne radars to the US Air Force and other governmental agencies worldwide, while the main use will be direct ingestion into its proprietary modeling suite, which includes numerical weather models, AI-enabled nowcasting and flood forecasting. These models power Tomorrow.io’s Weather Intelligence Platform, used by hundreds of businesses and organizations to plan for and respond to increasingly extreme weather and climate conditions.
Tomorrow.io’s constellation will expand radar coverage worldwide, covering each point on the globe once every hour on average, compared with the 2–3-day revisit rate of existing spaceborne radar missions such as NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission. This will significantly improve real-time environmental situational awareness, operational weather forecasts of precipitation including flooding and hurricanes, and weather-related decision support in day-to-day mission planning and execution.
The company will build and launch four satellites to demonstrate the technology and perform an extensive calibration and validation campaign, with the first two satellites scheduled to launch in late 2022.
Rei Goffer, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Tomorrow.io, said, “We’re extremely excited to deepen our relationship with the US Air Force and team up on this revolutionary mission. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (LCMC) is the ideal partner for us, as a forward-looking organization that is at the global front of dealing with weather in complex settings.”