MeteoSwiss is operating a brand new network of weather stations, over 200 sites across Switzerland – with more stations to be added. The purpose of the project is to provide accurate real time weather information, including numerical weather forecasts, meteorological monitoring and advanced warning of heavy percipitation, thunderstorms and flooding.
The data transfer is mainly made via 3G, 4G and LTE on the Swisscom phone network. Each weather station has its own data logger that collects data from the sensors and sends them to a central server based in Zurich.
The measurements received by these special sensors are extremely sensitive and precious in the case of a natural or nuclear disaster. As such MeteoSwiss cannot afford to miss any transmissions and have developed a failover communication service using Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD).
Iridium’s SBD service will be used in the Alpine stations, that don’t have access to the Swisscom mobile network. The Iridium modems, supplied by AST Systems UK, use very low power (< 1Watt) and work in extremely low temperatures, which is essential.
The advantage of using Iridium SBD is that it ensures efficient and effective transmission of critical information, as well as being completely independent from the mobile network operator. There will be around 20 vital weather stations with the SBD modems installed to ensure uninterrupted communications.
MeteoSwiss is also the official provider for diverse scientific, economic, governmental and private applications, with customers such as civil aviation authorities and different governmental agencies. In addition, national and international Swiss airports will be utilising the MeteoSwiss sensors in the near future.
AST are proud to partner with MeteoSwiss for the delivery of Iridium hardware and airtime, providing the complete solution.