SpectraSensors, Inc., a high technology spin-off of the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has successfully completed tests of its WVSS-II, a new Water Vapor Sensing System that will contribute to continuous, more accurate weather forecasting.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Forecast System Laboratory confirmed consistency among soundings from WVSS-II equipped aircraft and sensor data gathered from radiosonde weather balloons. Water vapor measurement is key to accurate weather modeling and forecasting because of its volatility and its role in spawning unexpected turbulence, wind shears, fog and thunderstorms.
Under the supervision of the FAA, which certified the product, WVSS-II test systems were installed on 25 UPS Boeing 757 aircraft operating out of Louisville, Ky., between January and June 2005. The National Weather Service and the FAA funded the UPS test program.
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