Vaisala entered the weather radar business in 2006. Through its acquisition of Sigmet and the development of its own technology, Vaisala has quickly become the leading provider of C-band weather radars. Vaisala’s technology can be found in most weather radars throughout the world.
Vaisala recently introduced the new IRIS Focus Weather Radar Software. With the goal of reducing complexities and delivering a user-friendly experience, the modern look of IRIS Focus and the rich set of tools it provides enable meteorologists to view and analyze their weather radar data like never before.
In 2013, Vaisala began developing its third major modernization project of the IRIS Weather Radar Software. In recognition of the need to put powerful, easy-to-use analysis tools into the hands of meteorologists.
This development project had four main goals:
As a result of the development work, better graphics display and data processing capabilities, and leading data quality and accuracy, the IRIS Focus Weather Radar Software raised the bar for analyzing weather radar data. IRIS Focus gives customers many new ways to experience and analyze their weather radar data for better understanding and quicker decision making.
Part of what makes IRIS Focus a step above current offerings in weather radar software is the display options and the opportunity for users to see more data from one screen. IRIS Focus allows customers the possibility to view and animate up to four different radar products within the same window. Multiple data points can be layered, such as radar reflectivity and radial velocity, on one map. Also, non-map data can be displayed side by side with mapped data. Using the zoom function will regenerate data at the highest resolution possible for the screen size, helping customers to see the finer details.
Weather radar data are critical components of weather forecasts, as well as accurate precipitation estimates and classification. Vaisala has been a pioneer in developing dual polarization C-band weather radar technology and the algorithms that produce higher quality and more reliable data. IRIS Focus enables meteorologists to dig deeper into their data in the least amount of time, with display and analysis tools that enable a better understanding of storm movements and structures. Using the storm tracking tool, users can mark the location of a storm at different points in time to help project its future movements. With this tool, users have the ability to compute rate, time, and distance equations. To help understand the three-dimensional area of a storm and its evolution in time, the cross-section tool allows users to see data at different altitudes with respect to other data points, which is especially helpful when looking at curved phenomena such as frontal boundaries. With IRIS Focus, observations can also be extended for better awareness of convective storms beyond the radar range. For example, weather data outside of the range of the radar, such as lightning data from Vaisala's Global Lightning Dataset GLD360 can be layered. Combining these tools into one easy-to-use system allows users to maximize the value of all their weather data and create better forecasts.