Meteodrones have been undertaking daily operational flights since 2016. Currently there are three different types of drones fulfilling the role of flying weather stations; the Meteodrone SSE, the Meteodrone and the Meteodrone XL. While flying the Meteodrone collects data from the base layer to about 2km above ground. It is now possible to precisely record the temperature, humidity and wind in the base layer.
Thanks to the approval of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Meteomatics is the first Swiss company to be awrded permission fly multiple mini UAVs at the same time beyond visual line of sight. This means that our Meteodrones are also approved to fly through clouds and fog, enabling us to conduct real-world meteorological field campaigns. This permission was also extended in 2017 to allow Meteodrones to fly out of line of sight during the day under certain conditions. This permission is for flights up to 1.5km above ground level.
Since the start of operational flights of the drones in 2016, each flyig Meteodrone has had to be controlled by a pilot. An important step towards nationwide drone operations has been the development of the MeteoBase. The MeteoBase allows the remote support of up to 10 different drone systems simultaneously. It is the "home" of the drone from which it takes off, where it lands and charges its battery. For the first time a pilot is able to control multiple aircraft flying at the same time. In 2017, the first prototype MeteoBase was developed and tested under real-world conditions. In the future, thanks to the MeteoBase, weather data will be able to be collected more widely, without requiring 1:1 pilot to aircraft.