Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Weather

Artist's impression of the GPM Core Observatory due to launch on February 27th (Image: NAS...

NASA is set to launch a new satellite designed to take detailed, near real-time measurements of rain and snowfall on a global scale whilst mapping the interior of storm systems. The Core Observatory of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) has been in development since 2005 and is a collaboration project between NASA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The satellite is due to be launched on the Japanese manufactured H-IIA delivery vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Centre, Tanegashima Island, Japan, on February 27.  Read More

Southwest Airlines has installed water vapor sensing systems on many of its aircraft (Phot...

Every 12 hours, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launches weather balloons from approximately 70 locations across the US. While these do provide valuable data, a lot can change between those intervals and those locations. That's why a new project is taking advantage of something that's already going up in the sky on a much more frequent basis and in a higher number of locations – Southwest Airlines jets.  Read More

The RainCars project's lab setup

Rain gauges are generally pretty accurate at measuring the amount of precipitation that has fallen at their location, but they can't be everywhere. This means that average rainfall figures for a region could be inaccurate, if considerably more or less rain has been falling in unmonitored areas. Cars, however, are just about everywhere that there are roads. With that in mind, researchers from Germany's University of Hanover are looking at using them to tell us how much water is coming from the sky.  Read More

A phone running OpenSignal's WeatherSignal app

Smartphone batteries contain tiny temperature sensors, designed to keep the phone from overheating. While those sensors do measure the heat generated within the phone, their readings are also affected by the temperature of the phone’s external environment. With that in mind, British app developer OpenSignal has created a system that allows multiple users’ phones to provide real-time, location-specific weather reports.  Read More

One of Prof. Mohseni's 'hurricane drones'

When we think of aircraft that study hurricanes, most of us probably either picture powerful manned airplanes that fly straight through them, or perhaps unmanned drones that fly safely over them. The University of Florida’s Prof. Kamran Mohseni has something else in mind, however. He’s developing tiny unmanned aircraft – and submarines – that will be swept up with the hurricane, gathering data on the strength and path of the storm as they go.  Read More

NASA's high altitude ice cloud test rig being readied for action (Photo: NASA)

About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.  Read More

The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, or MASC, is able to capture 3D photos of individual snow...

Falling snow can play havoc with radar systems, so the more that we know about the manner in which snow falls, the better that those systems can be equipped to compensate for it. That’s why for the past three years, researchers from the University of Utah have been developing a device known as the Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera – or MASC. Using three cameras and two motion sensors, it captures 3D photos of snowflakes in free-fall.  Read More

The Hail Protector inflates to protect against hail damage

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, approximately 250,000 cars are damaged by hail every year in the U.S. alone. The average cost of repair comes in at just over US$3,100, so what’s a person to do to protect their vehicle when rain takes the form of ice sculpted golf balls? The obvious solution – airbag the car.  Read More

The Rukus XL unveiled at CES 2013 joins Eton's Rukus line

At CES Unveiled, we had the chance to sit down with Etón, a company that builds products for entertainment and safety that can rely on hand cranks or solar power to keep them running. In addition to the FRX series and the Rukus and Rukus Solar it was also spruiking at last year's show, the company is displaying its new ZoneGuard series alongside a couple of additions to its Rukus line and the new BoostSolar Mobile Charging Solution.  Read More

The Nebula 12 concept produces indoor clouds based on the current weather forecast data ob...

Zurich’s Micasa Lab, the team responsible for the iRock and Cocoon 1, has developed yet another off-the-wall concept with the Nebula 12. Like the art of Berndnaut Smilde, the Nebula 12 concept produces indoor clouds, but Micasa Lab has gone one step further by using meteorological data so that it provides a representation of the forecast weather.  Read More

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