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GCN : April 2013
[BrieFing] Recent models of some Android smart phones contain a sensor that could go a long way toward improving weather fore- casts and issuing alerts when conditions are about to turn severe. The phones, mostly Android 3 phones, have atmospheric pressure sensors, essentially barometers, that if connected could provide a far-reaching, detailed view of weather conditions. Canadian software company Cumulonimbus is doing just that with an app called PressureNet. The app was launched in late 2011 by developers Jacob Sheehy and Phil Jones. PressureNet collects barometer readings from the phones and sends them to a data center that serves the information to meteorologists and organi- zations so they can better study and more accurately predict the weather. The 3.0 version enables Cumu- lonimbus to provide a live stream of raw data to those scientists and forecasters. The possibility of mil- lions of phones delivering barometric pressure to a central source would be a signi cant development in forecasting, according to Cliff Mass, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, who is helping to test the system. "The implications are huge, particularly since surface pressure is a uniquely valuable meteorological obser- vation," Mass wrote in a blog post. One graphic on his page shows the severe drop in air pressure in the New York area as Hurricane Sandy made landfall. It's not hard to image agencies such as the National Weather Service and NASA incorporating this kind of data into their data collec- tions, forecasts and severe- weather warnings. In 2011, for examples, NWS completed a pilot program using weather sensors on Greyhound buses as part of a larger project to re ne its observations. • App could improve weather alerts, forecasts BY GREG CROWE 14 GCN APRIL 2013 • GCN.COM The advance of virtualization puts the focus on infrastructure needs Desktop virtualization has it s own infrastructure needs If you want virtualization success, look to storage IT skills needed for virtualization are familiar but different The bene ts for virtualization are obvious but still need to be sold Sponsored by Iron Bow Technologies and NetApp Read the full report at: GCN.COM/2013VirtualInfra TOPICS INCLUDE: A VIRTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE Special Report