PlanetiQ partners with Antrix for weather satellites launch


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US-based global atmospheric data provider PlanetiQ has signed a deal with Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) commercial wing Antrix for the launch of two weather satellites on a Polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) next year.

The aim of the launch is to provide more accurate data and forecasts on storms such as Hurricane Joaquin and minimise the risk of an environmental disaster on people.

PlanetiQ expects to launch ten more micro satellites in 2017, as part of the company's plan to provide weather forecasting, climate monitoring and space weather prediction, as well enabling advanced analytics for several industries worldwide.

Each 10kg micro satellite launched by PlanetiQ will use the company's Pyxis-RO weather sensor, which is capable of penetrating through clouds and storms to the Earth and provide data even during bad weather conditions.

ISRO has currently conducted 30 consecutive successful launches through its PSLV launch vehicle for 51 international and 20 local customers. It also launched 33 Indian national satellites.

PlanetiQ chairman Chris McCormick said: "The stellar track record of the PSLV combined with our seven-year satellite design life provides the reliability and data continuity not just desired, but required by the operational weather forecast community.

"Within days after launch, we will validate and start delivering high-quality data and services to our customers."

Pyxis-RO operates with a technique known as radio occultation for supplying weather data to the Earth.

Pyxis-RO tracks signals from all four major satellite navigation systems, including GPS, Galileo, Beidou and GLONASS that quadruples the data collection capacity of Pyxis-RO's radio occultation sensors.

PlanetiQ expects to gather 34,000 occultations of vertical, high-density, accurate and more frequent atmospheric data per day with the help of its 12 satellite constellations and distribute across the world over both land and water.

Occultation data is similar to data gathered by weather balloons.

In August, a commercial weather data company Weather Analytics made an investment in PlanetiQ, with the intention of becoming a customer of PlanetiQ's proposed satellite constellation service.


Image: 24 hours of data from 12 PlanetiQ satellites will provide 34,000 occultations. Photo: courtesy of PlanetiQ.