ESRL Global Systems Division

Observing Systems

Ground-Based GPS Meteorology

GSD operates and maintains the Ground-Based GPS Meteorology project, currently consisting of more than 300 GPS water vapor observing systems that provide near real-time integrated precipitable water vapor (IPW) measurements for weather forecasting, climate modeling, observing system calibration and validation, and research. This project also provides raw GPS measurements to the NOS/National Geodetic Survey Continuously Operating Reference Station Network and the NWS Space Environment Center.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

GSD is supporting NOAA’s investigation into the potential use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the near space environment for a variety of science and operational missions. Such missions may include weather prediction, climate change, global-scale vertical resolution and profiling, atmosphere-ocean-land exchange processes, land surface and ecosystem monitoring, storm tracking, fisheries research, coastal zone imaging and sampling, satellite verification, and ground truth measurements.

Weather In-Situ Deployment Optimization Method (WISDOM)

The WISDOM system is designed around the availability of small super-pressure balloons, and the availability of small (100 gram) electronics which include over the horizon Global Positioning System and satellite radio communications capabilities. The concept is that large numbers of WISDOM balloons with the GPS payload are released to optimize weather prediction at a future time for phenomena of interest.

Aircraft Data

GSD uses the term ACARS to designate automated weather reports from commercial aircraft. These data are routed by several cooperating airlines to GSD, and we decode and quality control the data. Our Web site also includes AMDAR data from many European and Asian air carriers.

Tropospheric Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (TAMDAR) -- External Web Site

GSD, in cooperation with the National Weather Service and NASA, is in the midst of a 6-month evaluation of a new weather sensor designed for installation on regional commercial aircraft. The sensor, called TAMDAR for Tropospheric Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay, was developed by AirDat LLC under contract with NASA. The TAMDAR sensor measures temperature, winds aloft, humidity, turbulence, and icing, all of which can affect aviation safety.

Global Observing Network

A Global Profiling System for Improved Weather and Climate Prediction. Alexander E. MacDonald, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2005.

Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS)

To provide a higher density and higher frequency observational database for use by the greater meteorological community by combining NOAA and non-NOAA observations through partnerships with non-NOAA entities.

Regional Radar Volume Project

This project seeks to develop a regional mosaic of WSR-88D data on a 3-dimensional Cartesian grid. Wide-band radar data are used for this mosaic of reflectivity, radial velocity, and derived U and V wind components. The mosaic can be used for display purposes as well as numerical model input.