The US Air Force (USAF) 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (WRS) is delivering major upgrades to its aerial reconnaissance weather officer (ARWO) and loadmaster/dropsonde operator stations.

The hardware and software overhaul of the stations will enhance their weather collecting capabilities.

USAF noted that 53rd WRS is the only Department of Defense (DoD) unit that flies into ‘storm environments to gather atmospheric data’.

This work is carried out using the instruments in and outside of their weather specialised WC-130J Super Hercules multi-role aircraft.

USAF 53rd WRS ARWO major Tobi Baker said: “The (Meteorology Equipment Technician) shop is in the middle of a system upgrade, specifically on the ARWO station.

“It’s a major overhaul because the hardware and software that we use is specialised and a lot of the programmes and components are made in-house.”

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According to USAF, one of the primary upgrades being implemented on the operator stations is the computer operating system (OS), which would shift from Windows XP to Windows 10.

In addition to the ARWO station, updates are also being delivered to the loadmaster pallet to enhance the equipment’s tracking capabilities.

403rd MXS MET in charge non-commissioned officer master sergeant Alexander Mitchell said: “To give you a sense of time, the computers on the ARWO pallet were brand new in 2005 and now they’re all being updated to the current technology.

“Originally we were in the middle of upgrading from XP to Windows 7, but due to airforce’s Windows 10 compliance, it delayed us in testing and implementing that software and hardware in 2018.”

Currently, the upgrade process is in its final stages and the installation process for the ten WC-130Js will start soon after receiving approval from the headquarters.