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Vaisala celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2006


Since its founding in 1936, Vaisala has been an internationally recognized company known for its premium-class offering. Originating from one man’s talent, vision and persistence, Vaisala has evolved to become a world leader in many fields of environmental and industrial measurement.

Vaisala’s origins date to the 1930s when Professor Vilho Väisälä, an esteemed inventor as well as the founder and long-standing Managing Director of Vaisala, invented some of the operating principles of a radiosonde. He sent the first Finnish radiosonde aloft in December 1931 and continued with further development and tests until radiosondes could be brought into commercial production. Deliveries started in 1936.

From the very start, Professor Väisälä’s company was an international business, exporting 95 percent of its production. As the radiosonde became internationally renowned, demand increased considerably.

World War II, the Finnish Winter War and the Finnish Continuation War disrupted many lives and upset business and delivery activities internationally. However, thanks to persistence and hard work, Professor Väisälä’s business survived and grew. The post-war years marked the beginning of a true mass-production system.

The 1970s and 1980s were vigorous decades for Vaisala. An automatic sounding system - along with automatic weather stations, road weather stations and aviation weather systems - was introduced. Vaisala’s first clean room was built to enable the design and manufacture of semiconductors in-house. Thin-film technology was developed for Vaisala humidity sensors, first in the world. Numerous new international offices were established to ensure the company’s ability to serve customers worldwide.

Business acquisitions since the late 1980s in road weather, aviation, wind profiling and lightning detection have strengthened Vaisala’s position in the market. Further product developments, such as for carbon dioxide and dewpoint measurement, as well as the more recent compact weather multi-sensor, have enhanced and expanded Vaisala’s offering.

From a modest start, the company has become a world leader in many environmental measurement fields. Among other groundbreaking innovations, the Vaisala radiosonde continues to enjoy strong worldwide demand and a reputation for excellent performance. All Vaisala’s businesses are characterized by leading technology, active research and development and a high degree of specialization.

Today, Vaisala Group employs more than 1,000 people. Its 22 offices in 11 countries and distributor network serve customers in more than 100 countries. Vaisala achieved net sales of EUR 180.6 million in 2004. Exports outside Finland accounted for 97 percent of net sales. Vaisala’s A-series shares are quoted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.


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