July 2, 2019
How 5G Will Improve Weather Forecasting & Preparedness .
5G networks promise up to 100x faster speeds, 5x more responsiveness and increased capacity—making 5G networks able to connect 100x more devices. That means that not only can 5G support robust systems of connected sensors, but it can process the data that these sensors share in near real time.
These powerful sensors can be placed on the ground, on poles, buildings and even on drones, allowing data to be collected at varying altitudes. They will gather detailed, immediate information about changes in weather factors like wind, temperature, humidity and precipitation.
And they will help solve gaps in existing weather forecasting by dramatically enhancing the quality and comprehensiveness of weather and environmental data.
For instance, collecting data on and predicting weather conditions in the lowest two miles of the atmosphere can be challenging. Radar solutions can be expensive to deploy, and are often unable to determine how geography and other factors like air temperature are impacting a storm. Weather balloons can help with this data collection, but they can’t be controlled and can be expensive, especially when they are only used once.
Wirelessly-enabled technologies can help solve this gap. NOAA already uses mobile phones on 4G networks to crowdsource weather reports and gather data that “weather radars cannot see.” And drones, which will leverage wireless connectivity—including 5G—as a communications platform, are being studied as key contributors to the future of weather forecasting. Drones follow flight patterns, can be outfitted with customizable sensors and are fairly inexpensive to deploy.
Beyond forecasting, wirelessly-powered sensors will also help different sectors handle weather-related events.
Farmers will leverage 5G sensors to collect and respond to precise information about temperature and precipitation to better manage their crops. Utilities will place sensors around their energy grids to identify and isolate issues caused by storms so they can quickly reroute or restore power. And emergency response teams will collect data from sensors and footage from drones to learn how a storm is unfolding and how best to react.
Contrary to the myths that suggest 5G services could cause interference with weather sensors, 5G and wireless technologies will actually enhance our ability to predict and respond to the impacts of weather. 5G will connect more people, more devices and more data, giving scientists the information and tools they need to study and predict weather changes in real time.