Orbital Micro Systems Collaborates with University of Colorado-Boulder on Drought Mitigation Program

Company will provide satellite-sensed weather data for the Drought Resilience Impact Platform


Boulder, CO, May 20, 2020 – Orbital Micro Systems (OMS), a leader in advanced instrumentation for small satellite missions and analysis-ready earth data intelligence, has entered into collaboration with the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Mortenson Center in Global Engineering (MCGE) for its Drought Resilience Impact Platform (DRIP) program. As part of the relationship, OMS will provide earth observation data collected by its Global Earth Monitoring System (GEMS) satellites to the effort.

DRIP gathers daily information, enabling scientists and engineers to monitor the water supply serving some three million people in East Africa. Utilizing multiple data sources, DRIP provides critical information on drought conditions and trends which affect food security, health, safety, and other critical issues throughout the region.

“The observations received from OMS will not only help us better understand the conditions on the ground in East Africa, but will also enable DRIP to monitor drought conditions in other regions, including the United States,” said Dr. Evan Thomas, director, MCGE and CU associate professor. “In addition, OMS brings expertise in data science and engineering which will help support DRIP’s core mission to characterize environmental, weather, and climate parameters in all the geographies we cover.”

GEMS utilizes highly optimized microwave radiometers to passively measure atmospheric temperature and moisture content from small satellites operating in low earth orbit (LEO.) A single GEMS satellite observes the entire surface of the earth approximately two and one-half times each day. In addition, GEMS data enhances the information gathered from IoT sensors and ground-based monitoring points, enabling DRIP to deliver more detailed information to a region’s decisionmakers.

“Empowering solutions which impact global welfare and productivity are core principles of OMS, and we are delighted to be a part of the continuing DRIP success,” said Michael Hurowitz, OMS chief technology officer. “As we continue building out the GEMS constellation of satellites, we anticipate gathering live observations for any point on earth at intervals of one hour or less. Delivering observed weather data at this level of temporal frequency has—until this point–never been possible. These frequent intervals will empower systems such as DRIP to easily expand to new regions while enhancing the platform’s performance.”

For more information about Orbital Micro Systems, please visit www.orbitalmicro.com. GEMS earth observation datasets are available to download for evaluation from the website.