Ogden company teams with Layton contractor to sell weather data

Monday , August 18, 2014 - 11:05 AM

OGDEN — The wheels are starting to move for an Ogden-based weather forecasting company to get off the ground and high into the skies.

Tempus Global Data, Inc. recently announced that it has entered into a contract agreement with Logistic Specialties, Inc. to sell weather data to the United States Government. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Layton-based LSI will help Tempus procure contracts from select federal government agencies.

Tempus is a data company, headquartered in Ogden, that provides views of the Earth’s atmosphere in three dimensions through the use of “Sounding & Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology” instruments, which are built exclusively by Utah State.

The STORM instruments are designed to be affixed to satellites flying in orbit miles above the Earth, and are able to constantly observe a predetermined spot from about 22,000 miles into space. The company says the instrument is more sensitive than current weather satellites and better predicts localized severe weather, providing crucial information in industries like mining, farming and aviation — essentially anything that is dependent upon or impacted by weather.

According to Alan Hall, chairman and CEO of Tempus, U.S. Government agencies will be the primary customer for the first round of data that will come from the instruments.

Hall believes there is an “increasing and urgent demand” for an upgrade in weather technology in government circles and a “clear trend toward outsourcing orbital assets to the private sector.”

“We've built our model around that expectation,” he said. “We expect to sell weather data to a wide range of government and commercial clients including airlines, energy companies and insurance underwriters.”

LSI CEO Sean Slatter said many of the government agencies his company works with have expressed concern that U.S. weather technology is aging and becoming obsolete.

“Inside the government, there is a great demand for clarity,” Slatter said.

In July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a division of the commerce department, issued a license to Tempus that allows the company to build and operate the STORM instruments.

STORM is a derivative of a similar instrument called the GIFTS senson, built as part of a former NASA program. The government spent approximately $400 million on research for GIFTS, but it never flew because the program was canceled.

Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at@mitchshaw23.

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