Orlando-based MyRadar has been given the green light by NOAA to continue to develop a satellite system that would help track, collect data on and ultimately mitigate wildfire damage around the world.
The company received a two-year, $650,000 grant to bring its project into a second phase.
MyRadar has one of the most-downloaded weather apps available, with more than 50 million downloads since its 2008 debut.
Urgency after Maui
The importance of this technology has become more widely understood after wildfires killed more than 100 people in Maui earlier this month. That represents the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than 100 years.
MyRadar’s Orbital Wildfire Resilience project will increase the availability for its consumer, business and governmental alert products.
In 2022, the company received a $150,000 grant from NOAA to fund research and development of an orbital data platform that could provide data to improve wildfire resilience.
That project will launch several satellites to gather specific data about areas that would provide insights into land and vegetation of specific regions.
The company would develop risk maps for wildlife-related damage using its network of smaller satellites in orbit, known as CubeSats.
The gathered data would be fed into the company’s applications to provide actionable information. The new grant pushes that project into the second step.
A growing Orlando startup
MyRadar, which employs 31, plans to hire during the next six to 12 months, thanks to the grant.
NOAA has been one of the more active organizations in terms of building public/private partnerships for technology advancements.
MyRadar has become one of Central Florida’s most successful mobile apps and one of the most popular weather apps on the market.
When completed, the company’s HORIS constellation will include 150 satellites that will orbit the Earth, offering global coverage and data.
“HORIS will be capable providing a full range of earth observational data sets and features, but the NOAA grant is a significant validation in the confidence of the science behind our unique approach to monitor the earth for wildfire risks,” CEO Andy Green said. “The alerting and data capabilities of the constellation should give us a really good opportunity to help save lives and mitigate the effects of wildfires in general.”