ESRL Global Systems Division

NOAA Profiler Network News

The Demonstration Division of Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) in Boulder, Colorado is responsible for operating and maintaining NOAA's Profiler Network (NPN). The NPN, fully deployed throughout the central U.S. by May, 1992, provides hourly vertical profiles of the horizontal winds from .5 km to 16.4 km above ground level. One of the primary customers of the NPN data is NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) who uses the data in both its operational models and at its national forecast offices to provide current wind information for local and regional forecasts.

Every three years, FSL conducts Technical Reviews of its projects. The NPN review was successfully presented January 30, 2001. The following are some of the accomplishments presented at the review.

A three station network of 449 MHz Alaska profilers was deployed and brought into full operations for NWS. These systems will aid Alaska forecasters in determining direction of airborne ash generated by Alaska volcanic eruptions and also assist them in general weather forecasting. To support the Alaska effort we installed 449 MHz profilers at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and Syracuse, New York. We also relocated a profiler at Neodesha, Kansas to allow incorporation of instrumentation for temperature profiling in addition to wind. We have also acquired authorization for an operational frequency allocation of 449 MHz for future profilers that are being envisioned for a national network.

We also presented activites that concentrated on improving system reliability and operations. One of these was the design and installation of a subsystem that allows us to reset the site's main power via a dial-up telephone connection. This capability, implemented last September, has already saved at least 40+ trips to the sites and has helped to improve data availability. We have tracked our data availability to NWS since 1991. Since late 1995 our delivery has never dropped below 80% and is now consistently in the high 90% range. The average for the first two weeks of February, 2001 is 97.6% for the "lower 48" and 99.7% for the Alaska systems.

The visuals presented at the review may be seen by visiting the web site listed below and clicking on "2001 FSL/DD-NPN Tech Review Presentation".

We also post to our web page every week the latest hot news for the NPN and our weekly performance statistics. These are accessed by clicking on "NEWS".

More information: http://www.profiler.noaa.gov

Contact information
Name: Margot H Ackley
Tel: 303-497-6791
ackley@fsl.noaa.gov