24 May Weather Central launches second satellite
MADISON – Weather Central Inc., rather than relying on existing telecommunications satellites, has put a second satellite into service so that it can provide redundancy to its weather information clients.
Last September, Loral Skynet announced the Telstar 4 satellite had short-circuited and rerouted its customers to Telstar 5 and 6. The new satellite is designed to replace Telestar 4.
Jim Birch, data services product manager for Weather Central, said his company’s customers were not affected.
“Our users were able to continue providing critical weather information without interruption, while those relying on our competitor’s single-satellite service suffered data outages and were required to move their satellite dishes to regain service,” he said.
Weather Central provides weather data and graphics for television, online and print media. It claims 500 customers worldwide, of which 300 are television broadcasters such as CBS Morning News and ABC Good Morning America. On these programs, Weather Central is responsible for colorful maps and radar trackers.
Birch pointed to the company’s redundant satellite systems as having kept up the pace of weather reporting in the September 2003 storm season.
“[Telstar] failed as Hurricane Isabel made landfall causing many of our competitors’ users great difficulty at a time when weather was the lead story,” Birch said. “Our users never skipped a beat while covering a huge weather story.”