An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Edmund Stone

Areas of Expertise

  • Operational Aircraft Based Observations (e.g. Mode-S ADS-B derived observations).
  • Novel observation methods, including opportunistic observations.
  • Novel Technology to Enhance Operational Observations.

Current Activities

Ed is the only Expert Scientist working on Operational Observations at the Met Office. He describes himself as an experimental physicist. Ed leads the development work for novel methods for deriving measurements of the atmosphere from sources never designed for the purpose. Ed developed the current operational network for the collection of air traffic control data from commercial aircraft and the subsequent derivation of wind and temperature measurements. This has led to a step change in the number of wind observations available for the UK resulting in a measurable improvement to forecast skill. Ed was fundamental to the development of the Met Office network of raspberry pi-based receivers (we believe the first UK government operational network of raspberry pi) to collect this data. Ed undertakes the fundamental research to developing the hardware, firmware, and software to the understanding, testing and improvement of the quality and limitations of the methods of observation.

Since managing the Remote Sensing and Aircraft Based Observations team Ed has also had a strong interest in lightning location. Ed collaborates with the team manager to offer scientific assistance for the creation of the Met Office’s long range lightning location network, and other remote sensing methods (e.g. LIDAR, UAS).

Whilst Ed has an interest in deriving atmospheric information from other people’s data (our data is their noise) he is also keen to point out that in some cases our noise may be other people’s signals. Exploiting this hidden information may be key to our ambitions to observe the atmosphere in ever increasing resolution.

Ed is also keen to build support for the sharing of atmospheric measurements from Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles, through the engagement of the industry and collaborating with the scientists developing high resolution models we hope to help support the development of a safe operating environment for operators and the public.

As well as conducting research, Ed collaborates with the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) to facilitate partnerships and knowledge transfer between the Met Office and academic institutions. He has supervised numerous student projects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, addressing topics such as machine learning for atmospheric data analysis, lightning location network optimization, and remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols. Ed takes pleasure in engaging with students and imparting his expertise and experience in atmospheric science and measurement techniques.

Career Background

Joining the Office as a scientific software engineer in 2012, Ed began working on network design and quickly moved onto working on aircraft-based observations moving to the scientist role in 2013. Ed took on the development of a joint NCAS (National Centre for Atmospheric Science) – Met Office scientific project for the development of a new sensor for commercial aircraft. Providing an opportunity to collaborate with commercial partners such as FlyBe and British Airways whilst working closely with scientific partners at NCAS and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM). Between January 2018 and April 2019 Ed managed the Remote Sensing and Aircraft Based Observations R&D team and then moved into his current role. Before joining the Office Ed completed a PhD in Physics at Exeter, specialising in the interaction of THz radiation with structured semiconducting surfaces (plasmonics). Ed studied physics at the University of Exeter, graduating with a MPhys degree in 2008.

External Recognition

  • 2019 LG Groves Award for Meteorological Observation
  • 2020 The Vaisala Award, Royal Meteorological Society