Using technology developed by an alumnus, a new station installed on a clubhouse is gathering and distributing vital information about potential storms more reliably and quickly. The technology is also providing the courses’ turf-management staff with data on soil moisture and temperature.
Using technology developed by Edward Mansouri, a Penn State University alumnus, golfers on the two Penn State Golf Courses (Blue and White) in University Park, Pa. will now benefit from improved weather alerts from course officials when lightning or heavy rain may approach, the university reports. Additionally, the courses’ turf-management team will gain added intelligence on soil moisture and temperature conditions.
Mansouri, a graduate of Penn State’s meteorology and geo-environmental engineering (now known as energy engineering) programs, directed the installation of the weather station on top of the courses’ Walker Clubhouse through a Tallahassee, Fla.-based company that he founded, WeatherSTEM, which infuses live data collected by weather instruments, cloud cameras, agricultural probes and other sensors. The station collects data such as temperature, wind and relative humidity.
“For golfers, having access to this information is huge when they’re out on the course,” said Joe Hughes, the General Manager and Head Golf Professional of the Penn State Golf Courses. “Working with WeatherSTEM will allow us to ensure the health and safety of our golfers, which is one of our top priorities.”
The courses’ golf course staff previously gathered weather data from several apps, but with WeatherSTEM, Hughes said, collecting information and sending warnings will be both easier and quicker.
“We’re going to take advantage of WeatherSTEM’s triggers for dangerous weather,” he said, “and we’re also going to promote the new system with our staff and with the golfers.”
Additionally, WeatherSTEM will pull data on soil moisture and temperature from probes installed throughout the courses. This will allow the courses’ turf-maintenance team to “keep the courses as healthy as possible during different weather patterns,” Mansouri noted.
In addition to the Walker Clubhouse, WeatherSTEM has installed weather stations at five other locations in the region, including Beaver Stadium and The Arboretum at Penn State.
Beyond the stations’ use for golf course operations and other outdoor athletic events at the university, applications are also being developed to provide public access to important data through WeatherSTEM’s online website or mobile app, and for an educational curriculum that helps students learn about natural sciences and agriculture. A similar program is currently in place in Florida, where WeatherSTEM has installed its product in all of the state’s 67 counties.