Announcing “Sparv Sensors”

For some time, we have been working with atmospheric researchers to add instrumentation to quadcopters and radio-controlled airplanes. These are also called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS).

This is organized in the ISARRA community.

Now we announce a system specifically for this purpose, Sparv Sensors. It removes the need for researchers to also be engineers when setting up UAVs to measure temperature, humidity, gases, etc.


2016-05-24 20.12.46-800pxAnders is back from ISARRA in Toulouse, France. The conference regards Atmospheric Research using Unmanned Aircrafts. The conference had about 80 visitors from research programs and companies in Europe, USA, Japan and Korea. Anders also observed the flight campaign the week before in Lannemezan.

Thank you to Meteo France for organising this useful event!

Next year it will be hosted by The Scottish Association for Marine Science in the UK, with a flight campaign at Met Office Cardington.

We will post to Twitter using the #ISARRA hash tag.

VORTEX-SE user interview

pic 2Mississippi State University has used Windsond during the VORTEX-SE campaign during the spring 2016.

We interviewed professor Mike Brown about the experience.

What is your role in the VORTEX-SE project?
MSU’s role in VORTEX-SE was to gather sounding data and quantify possible landscape-induced changes in the severe storm environment by exploiting simultaneous boundary-layer soundings on both sides of pronounced changes in the landscape. The sounding data collected will be used to quantify the strength of the boundary and related diurnal boundary layer response. which will provide a depiction of the mesoscale circulations. Differences in the sounding profiles at a pair of sites (on opposing sides of a boundary) will then be used to quantify the changes in local storm ingredients associated with the circulations. The high spatial and temporal resolution data will be compared to WRF model case study simulations to assess whether a routine operational-like forecast can adequately represent the mesoscale response. The data will then be assimilated into the WRF model to assess whether their inclusion can improve the skill of the model.
What made you choose Windsond for soundings?
We chose Windsond for a number of reasons.  First, the small package makes it easy to deploy.  Second, in near storm environments we would often launch every 15 minutes, the ability for Windsond to track up to 8 sondes was important to us.  Additionally we liked the usb receiver which was small yet delivered a range of nearly 85km of range.  The small balloon also saved in helium costs.
How did the project go for you? Were there particular challenges?
We lost a couple of sondes to heavy rain.  We also had a couple of sondes get “stuck” in stable layers.  In those cases we needed a bigger balloon and more sonde buoyancy.  The output required scripting to get into the format used by the research team.  We have asked Windsond to develop an additional output file to remedy that issue.
What was your experience with Windsond?
Very positive, the developers are quick to help and I have enjoyed working with the sondes and the people behind them.
What’s most attractive about Windsond in your mind?
ease of use.  In fact, for a separate project we trained middle school aged students (12-14 years old) to launch the sondes, collect the data, and send for analysis by the National Weather Service.
What are your plans for future campaigns?
We hope to continue with funding for the second year of VORTEX-SE.  Should our proposal be funded, we will once again be using Windsond.

We thank Mike Brown for the collaboration and the interview! We will add support for the Sharppy data format.

We are on Twitter

 Sparv Embedded and Windsond now has a Twitter account:@sparvsensors.

Windsond and oziTarget explained

OziTarget is a tool for the OziExplorer mapping application, to add features useful for hot air balloon pilots.

The oziTarget author Sean Kavanagh has explained in a nice video how to connect oziExplorer and Windsond:

Partner for Navita Space Hackaton

We are happy to tell we are partners for the Navita Space hackaton, to be held in Linköping, Sweden in the weekend of April 22-24. It’s part of the NASA Space Apps Challenge, where volunteers from various backgrounds come up with ideas and solutions to challenges posed by NASA, using their vast public data. The best project goes on to compete against projects from other cities and can win a price and recognition.

Sparv will present Windsond and the capabilities of our sensors at the hackaton and encourage groups to come up with projects that use our tech. Especially the challenges in the Earth category are suitable for us.
There are a lot of possibilities how our tech can be used, and this is also a chance to get to know creative people and other companies. Everyone is welcome to join to watch or participate!

VORTEX-Southeast has started

Interactive hurricane tracker

The big USA tornado study VORTEX-Southeast has started. Data is now being collected from Windsond and all kinds of other instruments!

Here is a CNN article about the project.


A big research field project is now starting in USA: VORTEX-Southeast

It’s a continuation of a series of projects that aim to learn how to predict tornadoes. An Alabama newspaper covers the story.

We are happy to report that Windsond will be used in this project. With the small balloon size, Windsond is easier to use than traditional radiosondes in a field campaign where the ever-shifting atmospheric conditions makes it hard to know the most suitable launch point in advance.

Interview with sky lantern project Mboitata

We have reported a few times about the Mexican/Brazilian project Mboitata that uses Windsond to track large sky lanterns. Here is a nice interview from Facebook with Márcio Grochocki, a driving force in the project. Unfortunately the video is in Spanish. The white Windsond cups can be spotted throughout the video.

Projecto Mboitata Investigacion Internacional

Proyecto de cooperación Internacional Mboitata ( Serpiete de Fuergo , serpiente que cuida los bosques brasileños)Buscando preservar la cultura del globo en nuestras comunidades.

Posted by Cantoya TV on Saturday, February 13, 2016

Back from AMS 2016 meeting

Last week Anders participated in the annual meeting of American Meteorological Society (AMS).


On Sunday, Anders joined WeatherSTEM at the WeatherFest event to educate children on weather and climate. Windsond uses very little helium and is reusable, which makes for low costs and makes it suitable in education for all ages.

After WeatherFest followed four days of conference, with talks on a wide range of topics, poster viewing and a commercial exhibit.

2016-01-11 09.47.02-667px

Just a look at the number of parallel sessions gives an idea of the size of the conference

In the spare time, New Orleans offered a nice paddle boat tour on the Mississippi

In the spare time, New Orleans offered a nice paddle boat tour on the Mississippi

Thanks to everyone that talked with us about Windsond, UAV, boundary layer meteorology and more!
Don’t hesitate to get in contact to continue discussing.

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