DLR Executive Board Chairwoman visits WxFUSION
A great day for the DLR spin-off company WxFUSION: Prof. Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chairwoman of the DLR Executive Board, paid a visit to WxFUSION at its new premises in Gilching. WxFUSION CEOs Caroline Forster and Arnold Tafferner were able to spend a full hour with her. They had the opportunity to discuss the prospects of a paradigm shift in the area of weather information for aviation through DLR’s Cb-global system. It delivers near real-time satellite-based thunderstorm information for intercontinental flight routes which can be integrated into displays for dispatchers and pilot EFBs.
WxFUSION at the EFB Users Forum in Munich 2016
Already for the 3rd time WxFUSION participates at the Electronic Flight Bag Users Forum, this time in Munich, Germany, 24th-26th May 2016.
Meet us there and learn more about the benefits of using our real time thunderstorm nowcasting tool Cb-global in cockpit EFBs both at a booth during the exposition on 24th May and in a presentation in the mobile applications session on 26th May. Real time thunderstorm information in the cockpit is no longer a dream: in close collaboration with Honeywell, Cb-global thunderstorm nowcasting has been integrated in Honeywell’s Weather Information Service (WIS) application which will also be demonstrated at the Forum.
Honeywell & WxFUSION offer Weather Service Trial
Honeywell Aerospace and WxFUSION are looking for pilots, airline meteorologists and flight planners to help test a new feature of Honeywell’s award-winning Weather Information Service (WIS) application. WxFUSION’s Cb-Global data has been integrated into WIS that is available for both tablets and desktop computers. Read more …
WxFUSION moves offices
At the beginning of 2016 WxFUSION has moved its offices into the “Working and Living House” in Gilching, a prominent building in the industrial park Gilching-Süd, located near the airport Oberpfaffenhofen to the west of Munich and in the neighborhood of the German Aerospace Center DLR. “We have now more office space and a better infrastructure which allows to connect our secured computing facilities to the high speed internet backbone via optical fiber”, says CEO Dr. Arnold Tafferner.
WxFUSION at the AIRTEC in Munich
Although not being an aerospace supplier WxFUSION’s products making air transport more efficient and safer has attracted representatives from the aerospace community and politics.
WxFUSION at the Meteorological Technology World Expo
„Real Time Thunderstorm Information All Along the Flight”, this is what pilots are asking for and what WxFUSION can provide today for large parts of the world and soon all around the globe serving all flight routes.
On the Meteorology Technology World Expo visitors have been informed by the CEOs of the company what is possible already today with WxFUSION’s thunderstorm detection, tracking and nowasting system Cb-global based on available geostationary weather satellites. Together with today’s data link capabilities and cockpit displays this thunderstorm information can be provided to pilots in near real time.
Thunderstorm detection, tracking and nowcasting now possible for the Asia Pacific region
Based on data from geostationary satellite HIMAWARI-8, WxFUSION’ s Cb-global system can now provide tracking and nowcasting of thunderstorm cells for the Asia Pacific region. This covers countries like Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia, Australia and the western Pacific Ocean (see image).
The Cb-global example from 26 September 2015 shows detected cells over the western Philippines (full red contours) together with the nowcasted cells for 60 minutes in advance (lower image, dotted).
Exhibition at the Space Symposium 2015 in Colorado Springs
With support of the DLR technology marketing C. Forster presented the thunderstorm tracking and nowcasting tool “Cb-global” at the DLR booth at the Space Symposium 2015 in Colorado Springs. The Space Symposium is an excellent platform to establish international contacts and relations regarding aerospace activities. The foto shows C. Forster together with Dr. Gerd Gruppe, member of the DLR executive board and responsible for space administration.
WxFUSION at EFB User Forum in Rome
At the Electronic Flight Bag User Expo the WxFUSION CEOs A. Tafferner and C. Forster demonstrated the thunderstorm tracking and nowcasting tool “Cb-global” to users in the EFB community. The application which is based on satellite data attracted attention for its ability to track (monitor the history of cells) and nowcast thunderstorms up to one hour in real time. For the first time Cb-global has been applied also over Indonesia. Output of Cb-global can be transformed in small packages allowing to up-link the data to EFBs in the cockpit, thus providing pilots with an overview of the thunderstorm situation way before the on-board radar can see the hazardous thunderstorm cells.
DLR Innovation Price
One of the tasks of the Association of Friends of the DLR is to appreciate the cooperation between science activities at DLR and their commercialization on the market with the DLR innovation prize. This year’s (2014) DLR innovation prize has been awarded to DLR researchers and WxFUSION founders Dr. Caroline Forster and Dr. Arnold Tafferner for their proposal “Sicherer und effizienter Fliegen durch innovative Gewitterinformationen im Cockpit”. In doing so, the Association followed the recommendation of the DLR executive board.
Winner of Second Place of ESA APP CHALLENGE 2014
The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded the best application idea that uses Earth observation data on mobile devices. Proposals were supposed to address one or more of the main thematic areas of the European Earth observation programme Copernicus (land monitoring, marine monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, climate change, emergency management). ESA was looking for ideas that can be implemented quickly into a profitable business.
With its proposal “Cb-SAT: Real time thunderstorm information from satellite for mobile devices” WxFUSION has reached the second place in the earth monitoring competition.
WxFUSION at ILA 2014 in Berlin
The WxFUSION team at ILA 2014 in Berlin.
The fotos show Caroline Forster in discussion with visitors within the DLR booth. During the ILA days new DLR weather nowcasting products have been explained to visitors and will be made operationally available to customers by WxFUSION.
WxFUSION sponsors EBASCON 2014
The European Business Aviation Conference addresses aviation safety and effective safety management. This event was held in Munich in February 2014 and provided participants with the opportunity to learn about new WxFUSION products and speak personally with product developers. The WxFUSION team demonstrated how thunderstorm information sent to the cockpit in real time via data link can help pilots with the strategic planning of their routes. By avoiding thunderstorms, pilots increase safety and flight comfort for themselves and their passengers. A presentation was given by the WxFUSION co-founder and CEO, Dr. Caroline Forster, on “In-flight uplink of real-time thunderstorm information to the cockpit” and was very well received by the audience. Numerous discussions resulted from the presentation.
SITA, Honeywell and WxFUSION at SESAR SWIM Master Class
Real-time weather information throughout the entire flight-the benefit to pilots can hardly be overstated. Thunderstorms impacting flight routes pose a hazard to aircraft, pilots and passengers. Encounters with convective turbulence, icing conditions, lightning strokes and hail are frequently reported, yet the uplink to the cockpit of thunderstorm cells’ actual positions and the direction in which they are tracking is not operationally available. Pilots relying solely on onboard radar returns often find it difficult to strategically plan their routes.
In a collaborative effort, SITA, Honeywell and WxFUSION demonstrated that real-time thunderstorm information for pilots throughout the entire flight is no longer a future dream, but rather today’s reality. On November 21, 2013, a live demonstration was given showing the real-time uplink of thunderstorm weather data to the cockpit. This took place in the context of the SWIM Master Class challenge at EUROCONTROL headquarters in Brussels. Whereas WxFUSION delivered thunderstorm analyses and nowcasts derived from satellite data in real time, the information and data link services provided by SITA and Honeywell distributed this data to pilots’ Electronic Flight Bags in the form of innovative, optimized graphical weather information.
WxFUSION at Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) Users Forum in Hong Kong
Yes, it IS possible: real-time weather updates throughout the entire flight-via innovative thunderstorm information and a data uplink!
WxFUSION’s cutting-edge tools that detect, track and nowcast thunderstorms were presented to visitors at the EFB Users Forum in Hong Kong on November 12, 2013. Visitors were given the opportunity to better understand the obvious advantages of real-time thunderstorm information, not only for pilots but for all aviation stakeholders: improved safety, improved in-flight comfort and an increased awareness of weather hazards. This now makes it possible for strategic planning to be greatly improved. On an overall level, this new and innovative thunderstorm information enables common information sharing (CIS) and collaborative decision making (CDM) among all aviation stakeholders. It can also result in lower costs by preventing unnecessary deviations, holdings and extra landings.
ESA BIC Bavaria supports the start-up of WxFUSION
The main mission of ESA BIC Bavaria is to boost innovative business concepts for using space technology, applications, and services in non-space environments. WxFUSION has successfully applied for the sponsorship and will, starting from September 2013, be included in the incubation programme, benefitting from office space, shared facilities and business development support. The incentive funding amounts to 60.000 Euro.
Film on ARTE TV
“Sicher Fliegen trotz Gewitter” – this film documents the problems caused by severe weather which pilots and aviation service providers have to cope with still today. It also shows solutions weather experts have developed that can alleviate the situation. Weather researchers A. Tafferner and C. Forster explain how sophisticated usage of remote sensing data can provide the necessary information to aviation service providers enabling common information sharing and better decision making:
German version: future.arte.tv/de/thema/sicher-fliegen-trotz-gewitter
French version: future.arte.tv/fr/sujet/orages-zones-de-turbulences
Visit of WxFUSION at Bavarian police helicopters
Operation of helicopters in severe weather conditions have been discussed during a visit of WxFUSION at the ‘Polizeihubschrauberstaffel’ at Munich airport. Flight instructor and trainer Mr. Kolbeck explained the helicopter’s equipment which helps helicopter pilots to cope with severe weather situations, like onboard radar, FLIR, PIV and visualization systems. Ms. Forster gave a presentation on WxFUSION weather tools which would provide helicopter pilots a better overview of the thunderstorm situation. A future collaboration has been envisaged.
Rad-TRAM operational for German Air Navigation (DFS)
Since June 2013 the WxFUSION tool Rad-TRAM is running operationally at German Weather Service (DWD), providing information on developed thunderstorm cells and their propagation to German Air Navigation Services (DFS) and Munich Airport Operations (FMG). The information is used in the MetFROG display of DFS, allowing more than 100 users at DFS to follow the development and propagation of thunderstorm cells including their nowcast up to one hour over the area covered by the EURADCOM composite.
AutoAlert at Munich airport
Thunderstorms threaten airport operations at MUC airport on about 50 days per year. In order to timely inform air navigation services and airport operators of developing thunderstorms that impact the terminal manoeuvring area of MUC the WxFUSION service AutoAlert has been run over the months June to September since 2013. Users of the service are informed by automated email messages with thunderstorm alerts in form of text and attached image enabling common information sharing and common decision making.
Real time uplink of thunderstorm data with Lufthansa demonstrated at the EFB Users Forum in Stockholm 2013
“Thunderstorm hazards for aviation detected and nowcasted up to one hour in real time” – its possibility and availability has been explained at the WxFUSION desk at the Electronic Flight Bag Users Forum in Stockholm in May 2013.
In a presentation together with Lufthansa, Lufthansa Systems and SITA, experiences from a test flight with uplink of thunderstorm data in real time over the tropical Atlantic have been reported. Besides the successful technical achievement of up-linking weather data to an EFB in the cockpit of a Lufthansa jet aircraft in real time, it was demonstrated that the Cb-TRAM data from WxFUSION are useful for better situational awareness over the thunderstorm situation and can help pilots in finding their way through the storms. Captain Mr. Ritter from Lufthansa concluded that the WxFUSION Cb-TRAM data enable better route planning, with the effect of shortening the flight route and saving fuel. As regards to the reported flight the saving could have been about 2 tons of fuel if Cb-TRAM data would have been uplinked earlier during the flight.
Helmholtz supports WxFUSION as a spin-off company of German Aerospace Center DLR
Novel systems for forecasting thunderstorms have been developed at the department of cloud physics and traffic meteorology of the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics. The technology uses satellite and ground-based radar data to identify, track and forecast thunderstorms up to one hour. In addition, the system automatically sends thunderstorm warnings via email as soon as a thunderstorm is detected within 100 km of a chosen location, e.g. an airport. Overall, the new technology contributes to increase safety and efficiency in aviation. The high temporal and spatial resolution of the thunderstorm information, every 5th minute and every 1km at best, and output in an international standard format aiming at small data volumes are considerable benefits for the users. This allows the data also to be transmitted into the cockpit of aircraft via data link technology.
Within the frame work of the HGF program “Helmholtz Enterprise” the Helmholtz community fosters the critical start-up period of new companies and contributes to the transfer from science to application. WxFUSION will be financially supported with 100.000 Euro by this program. At least the same amount will be contributed by DLR. The aim is to facilitate the transfer of new results and technologies in the field of traffic meteorology to the market. The general public can then benefit from the scientific results as fast as possible.