The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s National Weather Service has adopted a system to automatically launch weather balloons from a facility in Alaska.
NOAA said Monday the service also launched an initiative to demonstrate autolaunchers after completing a nearly two-year field test of the technology in Kodiak.
The agency aims to deploy an autolauncher to Anette within the month and install the system across 10 sites across the state over the next two years.
The system is part of NOAA’s broader plan to remove weather balloon signals from the radio frequency of the new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite satellites.
NWS Director Louis Uccellini said the autolauncher platform will work to help NOAA conduct scientific efforts and deliver services to the public.
NOAA estimates the agency will save $20 million through the use of autolaunchers for weather balloons that support the agency’s modeling and forecasting activities.