Tel aviv-based Tomorrow.io, announced that it was awarded a $19.3 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to support deployment of its proprietary radar-equipped weather satellites. The contract paves the way for a first-of-its-kind, commercially-owned constellation of approximately 32 small satellites to provide global coverage of 3-D precipitation and other critical weather and ocean observations, with much faster revisit times than currently available.
Tomorrow.io will build and launch 4 satellites to demonstrate the technology and perform an extensive calibration and validation, with the first two satellites scheduled to launch in late 2022. On September 2021, it announced a strategic partnerships with Astro Digital and Muon Space for the development of its proprietary radar-equipped weather satellites, based Astro Digital’s Corvus-XL satellite platform (photo above).
One-hour revisit time
Radar can penetrate clouds and storms thus offers weather forecasts capabilities that no other sensor can match, including precipitation, flooding and hurricanes. The future constellation will expand radar coverage worldwide – covering each point on the globe once every hour on average, compared to the 2- to 3-day revisit rate of existing spaceborne radar missions such as NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission.
Tomorrow.io will feed the data into its Weather Intelligence Platform. This solution aggregates real-time data from existing numerical weather prediction models including those from NOAA and ECMWF, as well as millions of virtual sensors around the world, to produce accurate and automated weather forecasts. The company was established in 2016 by veterans of the Israeli Air Force and according to its website it provides weather forecast services for approximately 1,000 businesses and major organizations, including Uber, Delta, Ford and National Grid.