History

Vaisala's Origins

Vaisala's origins date back to the 1930s when Professor Vilho Väisälä, Vaisala's founder and long-time managing director, invented some of the operating principles of a radiosonde. The company was established in 1936 in Finland, and the first radiosondes were manufactured in the basement of a residential building in the center of Helsinki. From a modest start, the company evolved to become a world leader in many measurement fields. 

Nowadays Vaisala employs approximately 1,600 people and exports 98% of its production to over 150 countries. Curiosity, the desire to meet challenges and an extraordinary ability to innovate are at Vaisala's core, both past and p​resent.

Vaisala Story

"Measuring the Sky" video tells the story of Vaisala from the 1930s when the company was established to the present day.

Watch the video

Vaisala Story

Professor Vilho Väisälä Awards

​The Professor Vilho Väisälä Award for an Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation was established in 1985.

A second Professor Vilho Väisälä Award for the Development and Implementation of Instruments and Methods of Observation in Developing Countries was established in 2004.

​Both awards are ​granted biannually. They are ​administered by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and they carry a medal, diploma and a cash prize of US$ 10,000. The award ceremony shall normally take place during the conjoint WMO Technical Conference on Meteorological and Environmental Instruments and Methods of Observation (TECO).

The first Professor Vilho Väisälä Award presentation ceremony took place in 1986 at the Vaisala headquarters in Vantaa. The presentation of the very first award coincided with the 50th anniversary of the founding of Vaisala Oy. Since 1986, the call for papers eligible for the Professor Vilho Väisälä Award has been made annually to the permanent representatives of the WMO in each country.​​

For guidelines and criteria for both awards, please visit WMO site for the Professor Vilho Väisälä Awards.​

Professor Vilho Väisälä Award Winners

2016 Award Winners

25th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

R.J. Dirksen, M. Sommer, F.J. Immler, D.F. Hurst, R. Kivi and H. Vomel
Reference quality upper-air measurements: GRUAN data processing for the Vaisala RS92 radiosonde​, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7, pp 4463-4490, 2014 


3rd Award for Development and Implementation of Instruments and Methods of Observation in Developing Countries

Ms Amudha Bakthavathsalu and Dr Rabia Merrouchi 

Survey on alternatives for dangerous and obsolete instruments: evaluation of the questionnaire and recommendations for alternatives​, WMO, IOM Report No. 117, 2014

2014 Award Winners

24th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

A. Overeem, H. Leijnse, and R. Uijlenhoet (all Netherlands)

The paper Country-wide rainfall maps from cellular communication networks was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 110, No. 8, pp. 2741–2745, 2013, in 2013.

2012 Award Winners

23rd Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​

R. Boers, M.J. de Haij, W.M.F. Wauben, H. Klein Baltink, L.H. van Ulft, M. Savenije (all from the Netherlands) and C.N. Long (United States).

The paper “Optimized fractional cloudiness determination from five ground-based remote sensing techniques” was published in the Journal of
Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, D24116, doi:10.1029/2010JD014661, in 2010.

2010 Award Winners

22nd Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​

Pamela Heiselman, David Priegnitz, Kevin Manross, Travis Smith and Richard Adams from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received the 22nd Award for their paper entitled 

"Rapid Sampling of Severe Storms by the National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar"

It describes a study that demonstrated the Testbed Phased Array Radar's capability for adaptable, high temporal resolution scanning of quickly developing features in deep convective storms.

2008 Award Winners

21st Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​

​Olivier Bousquet, Pierry Tabary and Jacques Parent du Châtelet
received the 21st Professor Dr Vilho Väisälä Award for their paper entitled

“On the value of operationally synthesized multiple-Doppler wind fields”.


2nd Award for ​Development and Implementation of Instruments and Methods of Observation in Developing Countries

Luca G. Lanza (Italy), Michel Leroy (France), Christophe Alexandropoulos (France), Luigi Stagi (Italy) and Willem M.F. Wauben (The Netherlands)
were awarded the second Professor Dr Vilho Väisälä Award for their paper entitled

“WMO laboratory intercomparison of rainfall intensity gauges”.

2006 Award Winners

1st Award for Development and Implementation of Instruments and Methods of Observation in Developing Countries​

Messrs John Nash, Richard Smout and Mark Smees - all three from the United Kingdom Met Office - and Mr Carl Bower of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in USA.
The scientists were awarded for their joint paper entitled:

"Dar-es-Salaam demonstration test of IMS 1600 Integrated Upper-air System, Dar-es-Salaam, 18-30 October 2004".

2005 Award Winners

20th Award for nn Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Professor Joseph P. Pichamuthu, at M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore.

The award was made in recognition of his work in the area of meteorological optical range (MOR)–fundamental in the safe landing of aircraft.   

2004 Award Winners

19th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

​​​​Dr. Iwan Holleman and Hans Beekhuis  of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Netherlands
"Analysis and Correction of dual PRF Velocity Data"

2003 Award Winners

18th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

​​​​Dr. UrsBaltensperger, Dr. Martin Gysel and Dr. Ernest Weingartner of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland

“Hygroscopicity of Aerosol Particles at Low Temperatures. New Low-Temperature H-TDMA Instrument: Setup and First Applications” 

2002 Award Winners

17th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Rolf Philipona of the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC), Switzerland

“Sky-scanning Radiometer for Absolute Measurements of Atmospheric Long-wave Radiation”

2001 Award Winners

16th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Ulrich Görsdorfand and Mr. Volker Lehman of the German Weather Service

“Enhanced Accuracy of RASS-Measured Temperatures Due to an Improved Range Correction”

2000 Award Winners

15th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Edgeworth Westwater, Dr. Yong Han, Mr. Jack Sinder, Dr. James Churnside, Dr. Joseph Shaw, Mr. Michael Falls, Dr. Charles Long, Dr. Thomas Ackerman, Dr. Kenneth Gage, Mr. Warner Acklund and Dr. Anthony Riddle, Pilot Radiation Observation Experiment (PROBE)

“Ground-Based Remote Sensor Observations during PROBE in the Tropical Western Pacific”

1999 Award Winners

14th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Barry Goodison and Mr. Paul Louie, Canadian Climate Centre, Dr. Daqing Yang, (China) University of Alaska, USA

”WMO Solid Precipitation Measurement Intercomparison – Final Report”

1998 Award Winners

13th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

M.S. Golubev, D.A. Konovalov, A. Yu. Simonenko, State Hydrological Institute, Russian Federation, Yu.V. Tovmach, Saint Petersburg State Pedagogical University, Russian Federation

“Estimation of Errors in Measurement of precipitation by the Valdai Monitoring System (VMS)”

1997 Award Winners

12th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Bruce W. Forgan, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia

“New Calibration Method for Reference and Field Pyranometers”

1996 Award Winners

11th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Dusan S. Zrnic, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma, USA;
Dr. Alexander Ryzhkov, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma, USA

“Precipitation and Attenuation Measurements at a 10 cm Wavelength”

1995 Award Winners

10th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Anthony C.L. Lee, UK Meteorological Office, Bracknell, UK

“Filtering, Sampling and Information Content within Satellite-Derived Multispectral of Mixed-Resolution Imagery”

1994 Award Winners

9th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Dian J. Gaffen, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, MD, USA

“Historical Changes in Radiosonde Instruments and Practices”

1993 Award Winners

8th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. J.P. van derMeulen, The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, Netherlands

“The WMO Automatic Digital Barometer Intercomparison”

1992 Award Winners

7th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. D.J. Griggs,  Mr. D.W. Jones, Mr. M. Ouldridge, Mr. W.R. Sparks, UK Meteorological Office, Bracknell, UK

“The First WMO Intercomparison of Visibility Measurements”

1991 Award Winners

6th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Mr. Malcolm Kitchen, UK Meteorological Office, Bracknell, UK

“The Comparison of the Performance of Upper-Air Stations in the Global Observing Network”

1990 Award Winners

5th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Peter May, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia; Dr. Richard Strauch, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA; Mr. Kenneth Moran, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA

“The Accuracy of RASS Temperature Measurements”

1989 Award Winners

4th Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

​​​Dr. John Nash, UK Meteorological Office, Bracknell, UK; Dr. Francis J Schmidlin, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA

“WMO International Radiosonde Comparisons (UK 1984, USA 1985)” 

1988 Award Winners

3rd Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

​​​​Prof. Dietrich Sonntag, German Weather Service, Potsdam, East Germany

“WMO Assman Aspiration PsychrometerIntercomparison”

1987 Award Winners

2nd Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation​​​​

Dr. Boris Sevruk, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Department of Geography ETH, Hydrology Section, Zurich, Switzerland

“Towards the Universal Precipitation Gauge of the Future”

1986 Award Winners

1st Award for An Outstanding Research Paper on Instruments and Methods of Observation

​​​​Mr. C.G. Collier,  Assistant Director of the UK Meteorological Office, Bracknell, UK “

Accuracy of Rainfall Estimates by Radar”