Tapio Haarlaa, Head of Aviation Strategy and Business Development at Vaisala

Welcome to GUTMA “Meet Our Members” interview series, where every month we feature a different member. 

This month we speak to Tapio Haarlaa, Head of Aviation Strategy and Business Development at Vaisala. Thanks to Tapio for taking the time to share Vaisala’s latest news, project updates, industry insights and trends.

Tapio was drawn to working for Vaisala because they are a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurement. Vaisala work with the majority of leading airports globally to support their operations with weather solutions, and weather is one of the main supplemental data categories in the UTM. 

Based on leading technologies and innovations combined with deep application knowhow, Vaisala develop and offer the world’s best products with high accuracy, reliability, and quality. With Vaisala’s solutions, customers can make a positive impact on society by understanding and addressing risks and vulnerabilities, assessing weather and environmental phenomena, and developing more sustainable and efficient industrial processes.

One of the areas that Vaisala are exploring is how to best support the safe and efficient transportation of goods and people by drones and EVTOLs, using accurate and reliable weather information. Plus, they also have a presence in space which Tapio finds really exciting. NASA are currently using Vaisala’s sensor technology in their Mars Exploration Program. You can learn more about the program here.

The current mission at Vaisala is ‘Observations for a better world’, which resonates well with UTM. One of their aims at this time is focused on how they can best support the safe and efficient transportation of goods and people using drones and EVTOLs, together with accurate and reliable weather information. To support these aims they are actively collaborating with a number of early adopters in the UTM domain and participating in pilot projects.

One of their industry-changing products, wind lidar, uses sensing technology to detect disruptive weather by measuring wind and turbulence remotely. Wind lidar is proving to be successful and has been used in several UTM activities already. It is particularly useful to Drone and EVTOL manufacturers that need to understand wind-related conditions in flight test facilities. Vaisala is looking forward to realising the full potential of wind lidar in UTM.

Future projects are based on exploration which are leading Vaisala into creating a comprehensive set of weather solutions for the UTM ecosystem. Their objective is to position themselves as a ‘go to’ provider for all weather related UTM needs. 

Tapio said: “I find UTM trends and developments fascinating. I expect we will see more innovative business models created specifically for the UTM ecosystem. For example, it does not make sense to equip one city with multiple overlapping weather solutions. Instead we will probably have a shared infrastructure that supports multiple users and service providers using a variety of business models. Now this makes UTM even more interesting. Innovation is endlessly captivating!”

Vaisala are looking to work with early adopters in the UTM space where weather has a significant impact, so please do reach out to Tapio. They are especially interested in global Urban Air Mobility initiatives that will enable them to build on their understanding around weather related needs.

Innovation and the emerging UTM ecosystem are what drive Tapio. He said: “We are already seeing in the amazingly fast clock-speed in the emerging UTM ecosystem – a massive enabler for new innovations.”

Tapio ended the interview by highlighting the importance of inspiring events such as Uber Elevate Summit which he has attended in the past. He said: “This event is attended by like-minded passionate experts which feed my enthusiasm and commitment to UTM.”He went on to say: “I’m really curious to see how the UTM ecosystem will progress in coming years. Curiosity is key and it’s great that this is one of GUTMA’s values.”

Find out more about Tapio Haarlaa and Vaisala through LinkedIn, email tapio.haarlaa@vaisala.com or visit Vaisala’s websiteto learn more about the business.

Feel free to contact us at GUTMA if you have any questions for our interviewed members, and please do visit our blog again soon for the latest interviews! 

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