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NCAR developed and Vaisala commercialized the dropsonde, a meteorological instrument that is deployed from an aircraft into hurricanes to improve both track and intensity forecasts

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Steve Cundiff will receive a Silver Medal from the U. S. Department of Commerce for his leadership of JILA’s X-Wing project at an award ceremony to be held in Washington, D. C. on January 8, 2013. He is also being honored for this achievement during the 40th annual NIST Awards Ceremony at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland on December 5, 2012.

JILA is the joint research institute between NIST and the University of Colorado, Boulder. For 50 years, JILA has been a world leader in measurement science research and education of scientists who have become leaders in metrology, innovation, education, and national policy. Before Cundiff was able to secure support for the new building, JILA’s aging facilities were increasingly unable to provide the control of vibration, temperature, humidity, and air cleanliness required for a world-class research and measurement science.

These annual CO-LABS awards recognize achievements at Colorado's 24 federal labs and other research facilities.  Presented by the Governor, these awards highlight breakthroughs in “High Impact Research”.  The 2012 awards honor breakthroughs in hurricane forecasting, oil-spill air quality assessment, Lyme disease prevention, energy efficiency, detection of aquatic invaders, and crop science. Colorado is a global leader in natural resource management, climate science, renewable energy, photonics, materials science, astrophysics, telecommunications and earth science. “Researchers in Colorado laboratories are working together and finding solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems, which is reflected in the Governor’s awards and the commitment that Colorado has to its federal and state organizations,” Bill Farland, chair of CO-LABS