Our Story

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.

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Vaisala Story

Timeline

Vilho Väisälä founded Vaisala in 1936

Vaisala is established by Vilho Väisälä on the success of RS11

the first Vaisala radiosonde. The company starts radiosonde manufacturing in the basement of a residential building in the center of Helsinki.  The first delivery of 20 radiosondes is sent to MIT, USA.

First radiosonde RS11 wins gold medal in the World Fair in Paris

First radiosonde RS11

wins a gold medal at the World Fair in Paris.

New premises in Pasila

New premises in Pasila, Helsinki

provide the office for the company. The company is named Mittari Oy, with 28 employees.

Radiotheodolite for upper-air iwnd measurement is introduced

Radiotheodolite for upper-air wind measurement

is introduced. The Vaisala Sounding System becomes completely electronic.

Vaisala moves to new premises in Vantaa

The company moves to new premises in Vantaa, Finland

and changes its name to Vaisala Oy, leaving out the double dots from the Väisälä family name.

Vilho, Yrjö and Kalle Väisälä Foundation is established

Vilho, Yrjö and Kalle Väisälä Foundation is established

 when Vilho Väisälä donates 3,000 Vaisala shares to the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. The fund provides annual grants to research in mathematics, physics, meteorology, and astronomy.

Technology for HUMICAP® humidity sensors is developed

Thin-film technology for HUMICAP® humidity sensors is developed.

The world-first groundbreaking technology revolutionizes the humidity measurement market. The new sensor is used to measure humidity both outdoors and indoors.

The first automatic weather stations are developed.

The first Automatic Weather Stations are developed

for collecting surface observations. This is the start of Vaisala's aviation weather business.

First cleanroom is built.

Vaisala's first cleanroom is built

enabling the design and manufacturing of semiconductors in-house. This marks the beginning of Vaisala's industrial business.

RS80 radiosonde family is launched.

RS80 radiosonde family

brings a new standard in synoptic upper-air weather observation into the market.

Introducing Vaisala BAROCAP® is silicon barometric pressure sensor technology

Vaisala introduces Vaisala BAROCAP®

that is silicon barometric pressure sensor technology.

Professor Vilho Väisälä Award is established by Vaisala and WMO

Professor Vilho Väisälä Award is established

by Vaisala and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for the best instrumentation paper in meteorology and related fields.

Vaisala becomes a public company

Vaisala becomes a public company.

The company’s A shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

CARBOCAP® & DRYCAP® technologies are developed

CARBOCAP® and DRYCAP® expand industrials measurements

into carbon dioxide and dewpoint measurements. The CARBOCAP® carbon dioxide sensor is based on silicon technology and the DRYCAP® dewpoint sensor on thin-film polymer technology.

RS92 radiosonde family is launched.

RS92 radiosonde family is launched.

The new high-performing sensors and GPS application for wind measurement are uniquely designed for radiosonde use.

New Cleanroom provides reliability and quality

New cleanroom provides industry-leading quality and reliability

enabling Vaisala to manufacture humidity, barometric pressure, carbon dioxide, and dewpoint sensors in-house.

Vaisala introduces a new remote sensing road surface state instrument

New remote sensing road surface state instrument

utilizes infrared optics and laser technology.

Vaisala launched an innovative C-band weather radar

Innovative C-band weather radar

provides accurate dual polar metric measuring and new concept in antenna design.

Introducing GLD360, a global lightning information service

GLD360, a global lightning information service

provides accurate real-time lightning information.

Vaisala acquires Veriteq

Vaisala acquires Veriteq

a leading company in continuous monitoring systems to strengthen Vaisala’s position in the steadily growing global life science markets.

Vaisala new head office opens in 2011

Vaisala's new head office opens

and receives the LEED Gold certificate. Most of the heating energy is generated by the building’s own geothermal energy system.

Vaisala acquires Second Wind and 3TIER in 2013

Vaisala acquires Second Wind and 3TIER

expanding into the renewable energy market with a wider range of products and services.

Vaisala launches Road Weather Station RWS200 in 2014

Vaisala launches the new Road Weather Station RWS200.

Combined with industry-leading decision support software, it provides intelligent weather information for road authorities.

Vaisala RS41 radiosonde launches the 4th generation sounding system

Vaisala RS41 radiosonde

launches the 4th generation sounding system.

Vaisala commits to 100% renewable energy

Vaisala Commits to Renewable Energy

aiming for 100% by 2020.

New moisture, hydrogen and temperature MHT410 transmitter opens new opportunities

New moisture, hydrogen and temperature MHT410 transmitter

opens new opportunities in the power generation and transmission market.

Vaisala expands its offering to air quality

Vaisala expands its offering to the growing air quality monitoring market

acquiring new products and technology.

Vaisala OptimusTM DGA Monitor for Transformers is a new online measurement device for transformer dissolved gas analysis.

Vaisala OptimusTM DGA Monitor for Transformers

is a new online measurement device for transformer dissolved gas analysis, building on unique technology to solve problems in transformer maintenance.

Vaisala acquires Finnish IT company Vionice specialized in computer vision and artificial intelligence

Vaisala acquires Finnish IT company Vionice

specialized in computer vision and artificial intelligence, bringing Vionice's product portfolio globally to its road and rail customers.

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 Psychrometer Intercomparison”

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”