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SmartSky strikes up lightning weather deals
Flash predictive lightning capabilities provide up to six hours of lead time, while AvMet data can help better prepare for potential delays and Meandair gives situational awareness about current and near-term weather.
Flash provides last-strike notifications when it is safe to resume normal activities, saving 10-15 minutes from the normally utilised 30-minute resumption window.

SmartSky is to add Flash Weather AI's lightning prediction data, AvMet predictive Weather Impact Outlook data and Meandair's predictive weather capabilities to its Predictive Weather suite, delivered via Skytelligence.

Flash predictive lightning capabilities utilise AI and deep learning to provide up to six hours of lead time with greater than 90 per cent first-strike accuracy. Flash provides last-strike notifications when it is safe to resume normal activities, saving 10-15 minutes from the normally utilised 30 minute resumption window. Flash can reduce flight delays waiting for 'all-clear' at an airport, saving fuel costs and improving safety. Its nationwide weather data analysis enables enhanced awareness for incoming and outgoing flights to reduce delays and increase advance notice to customers.

“After initially serving schools, golf, youth sports and construction, Flash Weather AI now brings its AI lightning prediction to aviation through this integration with SmartSky. This is significant because an average of five per cent of all flights are affected by lightning delays. Flash not only predicts the start of lightning but also gives an accurate 'all-clear' for when operations can resume, including critical refuelling,” says Flash CEO Jason Deese.

AvMet Applications offers solutions that help to enhance flight planning processes with live Forecast/Observed Weather Impact Outlooks. These predictive services include significant weather impacts for airports, key arrival and departure terminal airspace, and jet routes. This service is available for any airport in the US as well as selected aerodromes globally.

Forecasts are updated hourly with the 24 hour predictive weather impact scoring continuously ranking the severity of weather impact.

“Knowing what to expect can help airline operations centres, pilots, crew planning and customer services to better prepare for potential traffic disruptions, thus benefiting airports and related services, travel insurance agencies, business travel services, air cargo services and the flying public,” says AvMet president Mark Klopfenstein.

Skytelligence brings together data from numerous providers for single-point delivery via APIs, which are then used by EFBs or ground-based systems. SmartSky's Predictive Weather suite brings together multiple predictive weather providers to supply aviation with enhanced situational awareness not available from other sources.

“Flash Weather AI provides invaluable lightning awareness for aviation. SmartSky is proud to bring this data for both the industry and the connected aircraft, via our ATG network that moves data from the aircraft inflight as easily as to it. This enables the cockpit to have real-time access to predictive weather,” says Sean Reilly, vice president of digital solutions and air transport for SmartSky. “Lightning is one of the biggest threats in aviation, and strikes can happen without notice and without visual indication. Knowing lightning conditions on and around the airport assists decision-makers with whether and when ground crew can safely support aircraft. Flash provides notification of lightning in the area well in advance, which can be used in making departure or arrival adjustments to avoid a potential hazard.

AvMet Applications' weather impact awareness is key to keeping the aviation system surrounding the airport functioning smoothly on the ground and in the sky,” he continues. “The ability to accurately predict weather impacts on air traffic and, as a result, predict flight delays is vital for the aviation industry and can be a significant contributor to sustainability, saving fuel costs from inflight delays as well as for takeoffs and landings. Through our partnership with AvMet, SmartSky can help our customers better prepare for and avoid potential delays.”

Accurate situational awareness about current and near-term weather conditions is of vital importance to support timely decision-making and to ensure safe and efficient operations in aviation. Utilising the power of its Meandair Nowcasting Weather Engine, Meandair provides accurate, localised weather forecasts for the coming minutes and hours, which are delivered near real-time with an unprecedented below-seven-minutes latency.

At the core, Meandair Nowcasting Weather Engine technology assimilates numerical weather prediction forecasts with near real-time observations from a multitude of weather sensors including satellites, a network of ground stations, radar, as well as data streams from flying aircraft, into a comprehensive snapshot of the atmospheric column. Subsequently, the engine extrapolates the evolution of the weather for the coming minutes and hours over not only mainlands, but also over remote regions and oceans. The company delivers the finalised 4D datasets, spot forecasts and graphically rendered end-user products every 15 minutes. Meandair's Nowcasting Weather Engine delivers 24/7 an ever-growing repertoire of data products including cloud structure at altitudes, synthetic precipitation radar, active thunderstorms detection, turbulence predictions, as well as AW-METAR/AW-TAF reports providing flight conditions at all small and large airports and heliports.

"Along with our other predictive weather products our Nowcasts for turbulence data predict turbulence along the flight path including Clear Air Turbulence (CAT). Our Turbulens 4D algorithm provides a flight experience that can alleviate safety concerns and potentially costly turbulence-related damage repairs," says managing director Peter Novák. "SmartSky is uniquely equipped to make this vital information available to US aviation and deliver it in real-time to flight crews when they need it most; inflight."

"Meandair provides invaluable flight condition awareness for aviation. SmartSky's next-generation network enables the cockpit to have real-time access to predictive weather and adjust the flight path, potentially avoiding turbulence and the required AOG time following a turbulence event," Reilly continues. "Adding Meandair's global capabilities also allows us to provide extended predictive services to our predictive weather customers as they prepare to leave CONUS and cross into international destinations. This can mean increased safety and sustainability with reduced costs."

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