SHOW REVIEW: Meteorological Technology World Expo 2018 is the biggest and best show yet!
Meteorological Technology World Expo 2018, the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to meteorological and hydrometeorological technologies and services, has been universally hailed as the biggest and best show yet, with a record number of visitors and exhibitors. Taking place from October 9-11 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the three-day event attracted almost 4,000 visitors, including key decision makers and innovators from research institutes.
“Meteorological Technology World Expo has been lively, as always, and I’ve really enjoyed speaking with all the suppliers,” said Prof. Dr Nick van de Giesen, Water Management, Civil Engineering & Geosciences, TU Delft. “As co-director of TAHMO, I also found the Global Weather Enterprise meeting very interesting. There seems to be some real movement and forward-looking actions concerning public-private partnerships in Africa.”
On the exhibition floor, there were more new product launches for next-generation measurement and forecasting technologies than ever before.
Austrian firm Sommer Messtechnik launched its new Ultrasonic Snow Depth Sensor with improved levels of stability, accuracy and reliability. Thanks to its low energy requirements, the sensor is ideally suited for remote, solar-powered sites.
“Changing from time measurement to signal analysis was a completely new approach that enabled us to generate new data from the Ultrasonic Snow Depth Sensor,” said Christoph Sommer, sales director and CEO, Sommer Messtechnik.
“The sensitivity and accuracy are all much improved. We also have precipitation and event recognition. For example, we can measure if snow is staying on the ground or not.” Read more
Elsewhere, upper-air measurement specialist Graw completely redeveloped and modernized its radiosonde technology with the introduction of its new DFM-17 model. The new design boasts remote initialization features as well as reliable data acquisition up to an altitude of 40km (25 miles). The weight and battery life have also been improved.
“Almost all of the technology involved in the radiosonde has been upgraded and improved, including the transmitter,” added Alexander Kotik, chief technical officer, Graw. “The DFM-17 is smaller than its predecessors and includes lots of new features that make it easier to track and transmit real-time data.”
Alongside the DFM-17, Graw took the opportunity to demonstrate its new cloud-based solution – GrawGo – for monitoring upper-air sounding stations. The GrawGo app enables the user to keep track of the status, measurement data and current events of the upper-air systems at all times. Read more
Capitalizing on the increasing interest around using drone technologies, FT Technologies showcased its FT205 ultrasonic wind sensor which has been constructed using a graphite and nylon composite, making it extremely light and ideally suited for drones and UAVs deployed for meteorological purposes.
“The FT205 has been extremely popular at the show, everyone wants to know about possible drone applications,” said Heather Fitzgerald, senior digital marketing manager, FT Technologies. “The fact that it’s so light and versatile means that it can be fitted to almost any drone, providing it’s kept away from the rotors. Because of this, the sensor has been constructed so that it can be easily fitted to a pole or mounted beneath the drone using a range of universal fittings.”
The FT205 is currently being trialled by the UK Met Office as part of its Boundary Layer research project and has even been adopted by fellow exhibitor and Korean UAV developer Vorasky for integration with its drones. Read more
Having announced the acquisition of Leosphere in the build-up to the show, Vaisala took the opportunity to unveil its new Autosonde AS41 automatic sounding system, which is capable of operating autonomously for one month at a time, more than double the automation time of previous systems.
It also launched its seventh generation of visibility and present weather sensors – the Vaisala Forward Scatter FD70 Series – which consists of two products: the FD71 visibility sensor and FD71P present weather sensor.
“The FD70 Series is based on innovative integration of forward scatter and optical disdrometer technologies, which enables reliable detection of even the smallest droplet,” said Tommi Linna, product manager, Vaisala.
“The new series has superior precipitation type identification capabilities, and enhances precipitation intensity and accumulation measurements.” Read more
Other notable highlights included the success of a high-performance computing (HPC) partnership between Centro Epson Meteo – Expert Meteo and Verne Global, conceived at Meteorological Technology World Expo in 2016, which doubled the speed of the Italian forecaster’s simulation models. Read more
First-time exhibitor Seismo Wave also announced its plans to launch a next-generation infrasound monitoring station in 2019, building on the success of its Time 1 portable infrasound sensor, which can be used to detect extreme weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Read more
This year, Meteorological Technology World Expo hosted the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) prestigious CIMO TECO-2018 conference, which was followed by CIMO-17 from October 12-16. The WMO had an outstanding response to its call for papers, with more than 220 high-quality abstracts submitted from all WMO regions.
Speakers were asked to address four key topics: the characterization and standardization of environmental measurements – traceability assurance; emerging measurement technologies: from development to operation; ensuring sustainability of measurements; and measurement and integration challenges in the next 20 years.
Highlights included a presentation by Craig Smith, Environment and Climate Change Canada, on the progress of the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW), a program being developed by the WMO to provide authoritative data, information and analysis on the state of the cryosphere.
To achieve its goals, the WMO assembled the GCW Observations Working Group, a best practices team tasked with compiling an authoritative guide on measurement best practices for cryospheric variables for use at GCW CryoNet stations and observations in general. The guide will have eight components when complete, with the final version scheduled for 2020.
“The drafts for chapters one and two on snow have been completed and are currently being reviewed by both CIMO members and GCW invited experts,” said Smith. “Chapter three on glaciers and chapter six on sea ice will be incorporated this fall.”
This was followed by a demonstration by Prof. Volker Wulfmeyer, Institute of Physics and Meteorology, University of Hohenheim, on the merits of an advanced active remote sensing system for water vapor and temperature profiling developed by the university. According to Wulfmeyer, several gaps exist in the observation of lower tropospheric water vapor and temperature profiles, referred to in the presentation as thermodynamic (TD) profiles.
The new remote sensing system, which is housed in a compact automated device, uses the Raman lidar technique to observe lower tropospheric thermodynamic profiles with high temporal and vertical resolutions.
“Some of the key features include high accuracy and resolution of T and WV profiling – day and night – up to the middle troposphere. It’s eye safe, operationally robust and is capable of continuous operation with minor laser maintenance for up to three years,” added Wulfmeyer.
The biggest draw on Day Two was a keynote speech by Prof. Petteri Taalas, WMO secretary-general, who set out the organization’s plans for governance reform by restructuring 12 Technical Commissions and other bodies to form four key commissions: the Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications (APSCOM); the Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems (INFCOM); the Research Board on Weather, Climate, Water and the Environment; and the Joint WMO-IOC Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM).
“The governance reform is important to our members to ensure that we better respond to the growing demand for weather data and expertise around the world. We have been successful in our business so far but there’s a chance to do more by running the business in a different way,” said Taalas.
Taalas also called for greater cooperation with partners in the private and public sectors to improve the distribution of sometimes low-quality but useful data.
Other key highlights included a panel discussion on Day One looking at new data sources for meteorological information, including cell phones, vehicles, drones and microwave links.
The panel explored several ideas, such as how to quantify the gathered data and incorporate it into a working model. The panel also discussed building partnerships with vehicle manufacturers to acquire weather data from the car’s onboard computer, with the relationship between meteorological agencies and aircraft manufacturers held up as a model example.
Workshops and Satcom Forum
Alongside the CIMO TECO conference, the International Forum of Users of Satellite Data Telecommunication Systems (Satcom Forum) hosted its Satcom 2018 workshop on October 9-11, and the recently launched Global Weather Enterprise Conference also held a two-day session looking at better data sharing, on October 11-12. MeteoSwiss and the WMO also hosted a special workshop looking at how the OSCAR tool can benefit the entire industry.
To register for next year’s free-to-attend event in Geneva, visit the Meteorological Technology World Expo website: https://meteorologicaltechnologyworldexpo.com/en/
More feedback from the show floor…
“As a new company building capacity in commodity crop forecasting in the tropics, the expo has given us a really efficient way to compare and identify suitable field equipment, data suppliers and potential business partners. Some of our highlights included discovering a 3D printed weather station which could provide a resilient, low-cost solution in data-sparse remote areas, and a chance conversation with someone who can bring vital expertise to the business.”
Peter Gibbs, meteorological adviser, Opus Insights
“The Meteorological Technology World Expo has always been a great show and is getting better each year. It offers an excellent networking opportunity for scientists, engineers, managers and both front line and research meteorologists. The lectures and product presentations really connect you with the right technology and the right people, from small scale inventors and gutsy innovators to industry-wide disrupters. I’ve been to several expos - as both invited speaker and simply as someone who wants to stay abreast of weather technology. This is a not-to-miss event and I’ll be back in 2019.”
Daryl O’Dowd, consulting meteorologist, Weatherdyne
“We’re a first-time exhibitor and we’ve been really impressed. The meteorological industry is a fairly new sector for us so it’s been good to visit the other exhibits to see what everyone else is doing. There are people from all over the world, including Asia, which is a key market that we want to reach. We’ve already developed new contacts in Indonesia, India and Singapore.”
Emeline Guilbert, sales manager at Seismo Wave
“The event has international exposure and is the best show in the world, so we had to come here. As well as new clients, we are looking for partners that we can work with to develop our solution further and complement our capabilities. We’re a new exhibitor and so far, the feedback has been very good; we’re looking forward to developing these new relationships after the show.”
Hongzong Liu, marketing manager, Naruida
“We’ve been here for two days and it’s great to just walk around and network with the other exhibitors. We partner with a lot of the companies already but it’s important for us to speak with the companies that we don’t know, and that perhaps don’t know the market in Brazil. CIMO TECO-2018 has also attracted a lot of people which has created even more opportunities.”
Diego Siqueira, business development manager, Hukseflux Brasil
“Our products are applicable anywhere in the world so it’s important for us to reach an international audience. Meteorological Technology World Expo is perfect in this context and helps us to reach an even wider audience. It’s always worth coming and we’ve already booked again for next year.”
Alok Kumar Singh, senior manager, SGS Frangible Towers
“Quite simply the show is a perfect platform to network and develop new partnerships. It’s also the best event in the industry for seeing the latest technologies and innovations.”
Dr Dieter Knauss, researcher, Lufft