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Space Technology

India Wins Contract To Launch Private Weather Satellites 34

schwit1 writes: The first two satellites in the first private weather satellite constellation will be launched on India's PSLV rocket. This project is a win-win for aerospace. Not only will this weather constellation help shift ownership of weather satellites from government to private ownership, the company's decision to use India's PSLV rocket increases the competition in the launch industry. From the article: "With 12 satellites on orbit, PlanetiQ will collect approximately 34,000 'occultations' per day, evenly distributed around the globe with high-density sampling over both land and water. Each occultation is a vertical profile of atmospheric data with very high vertical resolution, comprised of measurements less than every 200 meters from the Earth's surface up into the ionosphere. The data is similar to that collected by weather balloons, but more accurate, more frequent and on a global scale. 'The world today lacks sufficient data to feed into weather models, especially the detailed vertical data that is critical to storm prediction. That's why we see inaccurate or ambiguous forecasts for storms like Hurricane Joaquin, which can put numerous lives at risk and cost businesses millions of dollars due to inadequate preparation or risk management measures,' McCormick said. 'Capturing the detailed vertical structure of the atmosphere from pole to pole, especially over the currently under-sampled oceans, is the missing link to improving forecasts of high-impact weather.'"
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India Wins Contract To Launch Private Weather Satellites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2015 @11:41AM (#51067379)

    " help shift ownership of weather satellites from government to private ownership"

    How is that a good thing that needs "help"?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Exactly; just what we need private ownership of planetary weather data. Data held hostage by DRM and other stupid schemes. Want some basic data like "is it raining now" - maybe that is free. Want some more sophisticated data? Pay out the wazzoo for it. Who are these dilholes that think private ownership of data and satellites is a good thing? Can we ensure that they are "confused" about where to vote next election?
    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      " help shift ownership of weather satellites from government to private ownership"

      How is that a good thing that needs "help"?

      Yeah... for all the things the US govt. sucks at, I don't think most people realize just how much they use and depend on the ubiquitous, free data generated by NOAA and NWS.

      But, since accurate weather data is essential to any kind of military operation, don't expect the government to stop any time soon, whatever the private sector does.

      • But, since accurate weather data is essential to any kind of military operation, don't expect the government to stop any time soon, whatever the private sector does.

        Yep! We're not going to get less data because of this, we're going to get more. People are complaining that data that wasn't even being collected before will be in private hands. The mind reels.

  • Surge Pricing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fhage ( 596871 ) on Sunday December 06, 2015 @12:12PM (#51067517)
    Will we have to pay 100 times standard rates for the data in the few days before the hurricane hits?
  • How nice it will be when entrenched interests can hide weather and climate data from the government and individual researchers. Oh, you want data on x for the last 5 years for an AGW study, pay extra and get doctored data.

    No sir, I don't like it,

    • How nice it will be when entrenched interests can hide weather and climate data from the government and individual researchers.

      Putting the tools in private hands makes them neither more nor less likely to be used in this way.

      • by Maclir ( 33773 )

        Putting the tools in private hands makes them neither more nor less likely to be used in this way.

        And what planet is it that you are living on?

  • ... I won't rate its chances for long term success as very high. If my experiences with their coding abilities are anything to go by it'll just about get into orbit then immediately flip 180 degs and try and photograph the weather on the moon, start relaying Z-TV to Mars and then 2 weeks later will completely fail for unknown reasons and will need a complete rewrite. Or in this case relaunch.

    • ... I won't rate its chances for long term success as very high. If my experiences with their coding abilities are anything to go by it'll just about get into orbit then immediately flip 180 degs and try and photograph the weather on the moon,

      Perhaps they will outsource it to NASA... which will make a unit conversion error and turn it into a ballistic projectile and actually crash it into the moon.

  • "India Wins Contract To Launch Private Weather Satellites"
    What could possibly go wrong.

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