Artillery Corps implements new meteorology system

Up-to-date weather reports, of critical importance on the battlefield, are about to get a big upgrade in quality and accessibility

Date: 16/01/2012, 5:48 PM     Author: Idan Sonsino

“Wear a coat” is probably the most significant thing the average person takes from a weather report, but for the military, meteorological data can dictate decisions that often are life or death. The Artillery Corps’ new weather array, which begins operational experiments in the fall, will revolutionize the collection of essential data on temperature, humidity, wind, and air pressure.

Artillery soldiers require this information for accurate shooting, non-conventional warfare units need it to track the deadly breeze of chemical or atomic materials, and intelligence forces need it exact data to operate their sophisticated observation balloons.

However, until now the corps did not possess the capability of effectively transmitting this data to the various soldiers who need it.

 Furthermore, the array was considered an expensive and inefficient project that released balloons frequently but collected limited data, often losing the balloons. The new system will present a dramatic change.

“If before, you needed to release a balloon every few hours to get a report of dozens of kilometers in range, the new system will allow you to release one balloon a day and receive data on a much wider range,” explains Capt. Hani Suissa, commander of the Meteorological and Tracking Battery of the Artillery Corps. She says the new system will “significantly optimize and reduce the required activity.” The new array will supply the data described above, as well as help guide unmanned aircraft operated by the Artillery Corps.

As another part of the upgrade to the meteorological system, the soldiers who man the new balloons will undergo a full course in meteorological forecasting. As a part of the new system’s goal to become a critical source of meteorological data, the array will be directly integrated with the new age digital army systems, allowing data to move efficiently and intelligently. “The difference will be enormous,” said Captain Suissa. “After all, nobody can shoot without the meteorological data allowing them to see.”

The upgrade to meteorological equipment is only one aspect of the massive upgrade the Artillery Corps, which is responsible for the radar surveillance of Israel and its borders, is receiving to its tracking equipment. In addition to upgrades in radar systems, the Artillery Corps are looking at a broad range of LCMR (Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar), small positioning devices that allow fighters in combat to track the position and strength of mortar fire and identify low-flying enemy aircraft. Operational trials have yielded much success for these devices, displaying a high level of performance.