California-based sensor developer Intellisense Systems has announced that its purpose-built Integrated Weather Observation System (IWOS) is set to become the official mobile weather station employed by the US Air Force (USAF) for remote airfields or hostile areas where meteorological data is limited.
The IWOS is currently in its final phase of development, which will focus on qualification testing and transitioning the system into full-rate production. This final development phase is expected to be completed in 2023, with the USAF replacing its existing systems globally over the next few years.
David Miller, vice president and general manager of tactical systems at Intellisense, said, “The IWOS is truly the next generation weather system for the Department of Defense (DoD). 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 fully 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.”
Intellisense Systems was awarded multi-phase contracts to develop a mobile weather station that was competitive with larger, permanent environmental-monitoring systems in terms of range, resolution and accuracy.
Leveraging its experience with its Micro Weather Station (MWS), the IWOS consolidates several weather observation capabilities using a rugged, interlocking cylindrical design. It combines over a dozen key weather parameters, including temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed/direction, and cloud layer height to 25,000ft (7,620m), with data processing, datalogging, a solar power system, and secure communications.
The previous remote weather station, which was in use for more than 20 years, consisted of up to 80 separate components, weighed approximately 100 lb (45kg), and required at least 30 minutes and 2-3 service members to set up. The IWOS, by contrast, weighs 25 lb (11kg), fits inside a single case, and takes less than 15 minutes for one service member to install.