Physical Optics to develop miniature military weather-monitoring sensors

U.S. Air Force researchers needed miniature sensors to measure weather conditions covertly anywhere in the world for Special Forces and other military operations. They found their solution at Physical Optics Corp. in Torrance, Calif.

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U.S. Air Force researchers needed miniature sensors to measure weather conditions covertly anywhere in the world for Special Forces and other military operations. They found their solution at Physical Optics Corp. in Torrance, Calif.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced a potential $24.5 million contract to Physical Optics for continued devel- opment of small hand-laced or air- droppable weather stations. Physical Optics will finalize development and begin producing the Micro Weather Sensors (MWS) and Advanced Micro Weather Sensors for this follow-on contract to a previous Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.

The Physical Optics MWS lightweight, ruggedized weather station can be deployed globally in remote locations. It supports continuous, near-real-time weather reporting for air and parachute operations, and includes incident meteorology for wildfire or disaster support.

Using 22 integrated sensors, the MWS collects local weather data and transmits it via the Iridium satellite network to command and control elements or aircraft. The MWS system combines a micro light direction and ranging system, multi-imaging system, GPS, and imaging sensors to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed, cloud ceiling, visibility, orientation, global position, precipitation, and lightning activity.

Physical Optics engineers will build two MWS test units and two Advanced Micro Weather Sensors, doing the work in Torrance, Calif., and finishing by November 2021.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Physical Optics online at www.poc.com.

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