NWS using machines to launch weather balloons in Alaska

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May 18, 2013
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Anchorage Daily News 4/8/2018 -
"The National Weather Service plans to install the Finnish "Autosonde" stations to release weather balloons and collect data, beginning in the Southeast community of Annette next month, and ending with eight communities later in Nome, in August 2019. Each costs roughly $1.2 million to install.

Traditionally, weather balloons have been launched by humans from the rural and sometimes remote weather stations manned 24 hours, seven days a week by three staffers each.

Alaska's National Weather Service forecast stations have been short-staffed for years, at rates higher than is common nationally. The weather service said it is difficult to fill the positions. The employees' union said the posts remained unfilled on purpose. And last year the agency started pilot testing automating human jobs in Alaska with technology that releases weather balloons multiple times a day."

Another interesting thing is they used funds from a FCC frequency spectrum auction to pay for these systems.

Full story at: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wea...eplacing-alaska-jobs-with-automated-stations/

The link in the story to the Vaisala Autosonde system no longer works, but I suspect it is this they are talking about: https://www.vaisala.com/en/products...r-measurement-devices/soundings-products/as41