FLASH Weather AI, SmartSky to bring predictive lightning capabilities to aviation - The EE

FLASH Weather AI, SmartSky to bring predictive lightning capabilities to aviation

Jason Deese of FLASH

SmartSky and FLASH Weather AI have announced a collaboration. This collaboration brings FLASH predictive lightning data suite to aviation. SmartSky makes this possible through its network, advanced hardware, and enhanced services, which includes the Skytelligence aviation data exchange.

The FLASH offering will be part of the SmartSky predictive weather suite, delivered via Skytelligence. The airline dispatch, FBOs (fixed-base operator), airports, and ground operations will have access to FLASH Weather AI’s predictive lightning capabilities via SmartSky’s predictive weather offerings.

FLASH predictive lightning capabilities utilise AI and deep learning to provide up to 6 hours of lead time with greater than 90% first-strike accuracy. FLASH provides last-strike notifications when it is safe to resume normal activities, saving 10 – 15 minutes from the normally utilised 30-minute resumption window. FLASH can reduce flight delays waiting for “all-clear” at an airport, saving fuel costs and improving safety. Its nationwide weather data analysis enables enhanced awareness for incoming and outgoing flights to reduce delays and increase advance notice to customers.

“After initially serving schools, golf, youth sports and construction, FLASH Weather AI now brings its AI lightning prediction to aviation through this integration with SmartSky. This is significant because an average of 5% of all flights are affected by lightning delays. FLASH not only predicts the start of lightning but also gives an accurate “all-clear” for when operations can resume, including critical refueling,” says Jason Deese, CEO for FLASH.

The Skytelligence data exchange is a key element of SmartSky’s digital services offerings which are powered by its patented tools. Skytelligence brings together data from numerous providers for single point delivery via APIs (application programming interface), which are then used by EFBs (electronic flight bags) or ground-based systems. These combined capabilities make SmartSky a key enabler for aviation’s digital transformation. SmartSky’s predictive weather suite brings together multiple predictive weather providers to supply aviation with enhanced situational awareness not available from other sources.

“FLASH Weather AI provides invaluable lightning awareness for aviation. SmartSky is proud to bring this data for both the industry and the connected aircraft, via our ATG network that moves data from the aircraft inflight as easily as to it. This enables the cockpit to have real-time access to predictive weather,” says Sean Reilly, vice president of digital solutions and air transport for SmartSky. “Lightning is one of the biggest threats in aviation, and strikes can happen without notice and without visual indication. Knowing lightning conditions on and around the airport assists decision-makers with whether and when ground crew can safely support aircraft. FLASH provides notification of lightning in the area well in advance, which can be used in making departure or arrival adjustments to avoid a potential hazard.”

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