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Flying helicopters through remote areas like Afghanistan is a high-risk endeavor as missions typically rely on weather predictions instead of real-time weather data. The danger to U.S. personnel and assets, however, is poised to take a dramatic plunge because of a system developed by a woman-owned small business in partnership with the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program.
A Department of Defense customer is in the process of fielding the new Micro Weather Sensor system developed by Torrance, Calif.-based Physical Optics Corp. The system - designed to be low cost, expendable and portable versus the current crop of bulkier, more costly weather monitoring equipment - provides near instantaneous weather reports in places where it wasn’t possible before. That access to critical battlefield information has several other potential users in the Department of Defense, as well as at least one U.S. ally, looking to buy the system.
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