Our storm chasing vans are outfitted with the latest mobile weather radar technology. In this image the GPS marker shows the position of our van underneath a tornado warned storm near Atoka, OK.
We operate with multiple live radar data sources from redundant sources, including cellular, broadband satellite and XM Weather.
The above image is the Mobile Threat Net system. The weather information is a highly dependable data-stream that is delivered to our lead chase van via XM Satellite. The two images below, including the 3D radar image are products that we use and created by Gibson Ridge. The data-stream of these products have to be delivered via the internet and require a mobile broadband cellular setup.
While the information with these products is more detailed than our XM Weather feed, it is not as reliable due to the sometimes problematic nature of cellular communications in parts of Tornado Alley.
We have several methods that allow us to retreive data from the internet, including a high-speed broadband mobile satellite system. The satellite system does require us to stop in order to use it, so it is a "last resort" if all other communications fail for any reason and we have ample time to stop. We try to use only the cellular methods of obtaining internet access and the XM Weather information as much as possible.
With all our technology combined, we have the data that we need 100% of the time! Whether its obtained from internet satellite, XM satellite or cellular communications. Nobody has this much technology, experienced meteorologist and storm chasers combined than Violent Skies Tours.
Violent Skies Tours uses the latest equipment in storm chasing technology to raise our chances of catching a severe storms and tornadoes. Alongside trained forecasters technology plays a key role in severe weather forecasting. Here is just some of the equipment and technology that will be in use for the 2007 seasons:
Equipment, Personnel & Technology
- Real severe weather experts with years of storm chasing and forecasting experience.
- An in-motion satellite tracking system for DirecTV, for watching satellite television while on-the-go.
- Computer system that integrates with the chasing equipment.
- Flat panel touch screen display for easy navigation of weather maps, GPS, and Satellite Data.
- High-resolution LCD monitors in front and back. This will allow each person in the van to watch TV, DVD or the data that we're examining on the on-board computer.
- 2-way Satellite Broadband Internet Connection. High-speed live data anywhere!
- Commercial and ham radio units with multiple bands dedicated to continuous National Weather Service broadcasts and monitoring live storm conditions from other radio operators.
- WxWorx and XM Weather Satellite Weather mobile receiver. Radar data while on the move!
- Dual GPS systems for tracking our location.
- Improved onboard power configuration to handle all of our equipment. We can run our equipment for up to 8 hours without the van running!
- VCR and DVD for entertainment while on the road.
- And a few other Violent Skies Secrets you get to learn about if you join a trip.
When we operate multiple vans simultaneously, we also employ our extensive van-to-van communications system that allows our second van to receive audio and video broadcast from our lead van. This allows everyone on the tour, no matter which van they are in to see and hear the exact same thing!
We recently upgraded our fleet with new vans equipped with captain seating. The benefits are endless, besides the extreme amount of comfort these seats offer when traveling over 400 miles per day, there are often times on a storm chasing tour when passengers will need to exit and enter the vans very quickly.
Traditional bench seating makes this difficult because it leaves only a small passage way on the right side of the van and passengers have to maneuver around the seat belts shoulder harnesses.
With the captain seating installed, our vans have a large center aisle that allows ease of access in and out of the vans without having to duck under seat belts. The vans also come equipped with extra lighting and air conditioner vents for maximum comfort.
Our vans also have some mechanical advantages that traditional vans do not have, which allows our tour vans to out perform other vechicles in their class in all road conditions. Even James Bond would be proud to own a Violent Skies Tours' van, but we would never let him drive one. Our drivers are simply the best and have years of experience in handling extended passenger vans in all weather conditions, and that is proven with our perfect safety record.
When you combine the experienced team, the technology employed, the luxury features of our vans and our price - its easy to see why Violent Skies Tours is the fastest growing storm chasing tour in America.