GeoMetWatch will mount its first hyperspectral hosted payload on an AsiaSat commercial communications satellite set for launch in 2016, giving the Utah-based startup a view of the Asia/Pacific region for its weather-data service.

The new spacecraft will be positioned at 122 deg. E. Long., where the Hong Kong-based satellite operator’s AsiaSat 4 is located today. It will carry GeoMetWatch’s Sounding & Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology (Storm) payload — the first-ever commercial hosted weather sensor — which will provide weather data for sale to forecasters in East Asia, Australia, the Subcontinent and parts of the Middle East and Africa.

Using a hyperspectral sensor under development at Utah State University’s Advanced Weather Systems facility in Logan, Utah, the hosted payload will be designed to provide high-resolution visible and infrared weather imagery and data on temperature, water vapor, pressure, wind and aerosols to forecasters.

“Storm will provide significantly earlier warning for severe weather and climate instability, and it will do so faster, more frequently and with finer detailed measurements than any capability in orbit today,” stated David Crain, GeoMetWatch CEO, who noted “significant interest to purchase the data when available” in the region.

Plans call for the initial hosted payload to be joined over time by five more spaced around the globe on other geostationary communications satellites. The initial offering, described as a “strategic partnership,” will “open up new opportunities to expand our satellite services into new areas, and allow us to explore a new source of revenue for the company,” stated William Wade, president and CEO of AsiaSat.