Government Satellite Innovator to Join Spire, the World’s First Commercial Weather Data Provider
As Spire marches ahead with rolling satellite launches, former Cosmic-1 operational lead sees bright future for commercial GPS-RO weather data
January 21, 2016 – Satellite-powered data company, Spire, announces today that Dave Ector has joined Spire as product manager of Spire Stratos, the company’s weather data product. Ector was a key force behind the COSMIC-1 program and the acceptance of GPS-RO data into every major worldwide weather model, and will leverage that experience to lead Spire’s delivery of 100,000 daily GPS-RO profiles at COSMIC-1 level quality.
Spire has deployed the world’s first commercial weather satellite network, releasing four of its initial satellites to space within the past four months. Now, with month-on-month launches underway, Spire will significantly grow and strengthen that network to deliver roughly 10,000 GPS-RO profiles per day by Summer 2016 and 100,000 GPS-RO profiles per day in 2017. Negotiations to license the data to both private and public entities are already underway, and these partnerships will make use of Spire’s thousands of profiles to gain a competitive edge and save human lives by enabling better decision-making ahead of extreme weather events.
“Spire is maturing at an unprecedented pace,” said Antoine De Chassy, Senior Business Development Executive at Spire. “With our 20 operational ground stations and with satellites in orbit, we’re in the unique position of being the first commercial weather satellite constellation. With the addition of Dave and his unparalleled experience with GPS-RO technology, we’ll be able to scale his innovations to provide next-generation global weather data that forecasting desperately needs.”
For the past 33 years, Ector has worked on government satellites for the US Air Force, in commercial space, and most recently as program manager, COSMIC, for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). At UCAR, Ector was the US Program Manager for COSMIC-1, the first program to demonstrate the power and viability of GPS-Radio Occultation (GPS-RO) in weather forecasting. Ector’s close collaboration with national forecasting centers helped to validate that GPS-RO data can greatly benefit existing forecast models. For example, the European weather forecasting model saw a nine percent reduction in errors following its integration of GPS-RO data — the largest documented improvement to forecast accuracy in over 20 years.
“I have always believed that the commercialization of radio occultation data for weather forecasting was the right way to go,” Ector said. “I was just waiting for the right company – and it is Spire. Spire is already executing on its mission with a built-in revenue plan to support its journey towards commercialization.”
By 2017, Spire Stratos will comprise the world’s largest weather satellite network – more than 100 satellites that will provide significantly more raw radio occultation data than has ever been available. With satellites passing over every point on Earth multiple times per hour, Spire data will be able to deliver substantial accuracy improvements to weather forecasts across the globe. The coverage that Spire can provide, coupled with cutting-edge weather detection projects from NOAA and others, including the COSMIC-2 program, will provide a greater degree of certainty and a reduction in errors in global weather forecasting.
With each passing day, life seems to get a little less certain as we learn what we don’t know. Modern society finds itself just one disaster away from panic. Such large problems require exceptional solutions. Using an advanced network of satellites, Spire is able to shed light on any point on Earth in near-real time - offering data solutions that could add days to storm warnings, protect our oceans, and return certainty to life. To learn more, visit www.spire.com.
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- Rebekah Choi
- VSC Consulting for Spire
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