Original article by IoT Forge Foundation, 24.11.2022.
Skyfora, founded in 2019 and based in Helsinki, focuses on weather intelligence research and solutions that allow weather data to be collected more accurately and widely enabling better weather forecast accuracy. The company has also developed the StreamSonde, the world’s lightest weather sonde.
Skyfora’s business strategy is to develop products and various measurement solutions that help studying extreme weather conditions. With improved weather forecasts Skyfora can help industries that are highly dependent on the weather. Skyfora’s customers include insurance companies, meteorological research institutes and hurricane and storm research centers. “With better foresight and preparedness in countries affected by extreme weather conditions, lives are saved and the safety and costs of various industries, such as the transport and logistics industry, can be better managed,” Skyfora’s CEO Fredrik Borgström says.
Skyfora’s 11-person expert team combines in their research and development the scientific methods of weather research with the use of artificial intelligence. The company’s goal is ambitious. “With the help of AI-powered solutions, we can replace the current physical measurement methods and multiply the amount of weather that can be measured. There are currently around 900 upper-air weather observation stations launching balloons around the world. From the point of view of measuring climate change and related weather phenomena, it is too little and too slow. Our goal is to increase the amount of measured weather thousandfold compared to the current situation,” Skyfora’s CPO Svante Henriksson says.
Skyfora has also developed the world’s lightest weather sonde that is used for example in hurricane measurements. The StreamSonde is about 20 times lighter compared to other dropsondes currently on the market. Its fall is more than twice as slow, enabling more accurate storm observations than before. Sondes can also be dropped several dozen at a time, which enables a so-called swarm measurement. The sondes float freely with atmospheric winds and can be launched from an aircraft, a balloon or a drone. With StreamSonde, storms can be scanned in greater detail than ever before. The high-resolution data produced by the sondes feed numerical weather predictions and emerging AI-powered weather and hurricane forecasts.
In its R&D work, Skyfora has collaborated closely with IoT Forge regarding various radio frequency measurements, antenna characterizations, manufacturing of 3D prototype parts and producing various PCB prototypes. The lab equipment they have is also on a professional level. “The technical expertise and R&D background of IoT Forge team has also been an inspiration for various in-depth R&D and system level related discussions throughout the projects” Kim Kaisti, Skyfora’s CTO says.
Borgström, Henriksson and Kaisti emphasize the importance of partnerships, networking and role of experienced advisors in the startup business. Patents also play a key role in business development. “Finland has very good cooperation opportunities with numerous operators, such as IoT Forge, Business Finland and various business accelerators. Startup business involves tolerating uncertainties, but it’s also great to know that you can get help for business development,” Kaisti reminds.
Read the original article here.
Skyfora is a weather intelligence company based in Helsinki, Finland. Its spearhead products, the StreamSonde – world’s lightest weather sonde and the AI-powered Tropical Storm Tracker software are used by government agencies, research institutes and companies in the re-/insurance sector. The team features a unique combination of expertise in atmospheric science, weather instrument engineering, machine learning, fast start-up growth and international sales. Its investors and funders include Voima Ventures, Icebreaker VC, business angels, Business Finland, the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre, Copernicus Incubation Programme and IoTForge foundation.
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