ESRL Global Systems Division
Innovative Weather Delivery Systems
|The NOAA UAS Program has designed a project focused on "Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT)" to quantify the influence of UAS environmental data to high impact weather prediction and assess the operational effectiveness of UAS to help mitigate the risk of satellite observing gaps. The NOAA UAS Program will partner with NASA to conduct missions using advanced UAS for operational prototype data collection.
The SHOUT Program is a part of the broader plan to focus, accelerate and enhance a number of ongoing R&D efforts to help achieve several of these objectives using .Hurricane Sandy. Supplemental Funding. The overall goal of the SHOUT project is to demonstrate and test a prototype concept of operations for unmanned observing technology that could be used to mitigate the risk of diminished high impact weather forecasts and warnings in the case of polar-orbiting satellite observing gaps.
Targeted observations from aircraft in oceanic regions can significantly improve how well weather models forecast significant meteorological events such as tropical storms, winter storms and major floods. The long duration and large oceanic areas that can be observed using advanced Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) such as the Global Hawk make this an important potential observing platform. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) UAS Program will work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct missions using advanced UAS to determine their utility in prediction of dangerous storms that can affect the United States. This effort to sense hazards with operational unmanned technology will determine the observing strategies and quantify the contribution that advanced UAS can make to mitigate the satellite data gap.
There is a well-established scientific finding that adaptive observations can improve weather prediction. This is particularly true for major storms, such as tropical storms, winter storms, and family tornado outbreaks. The operations concept would be that several days before a potential storm, advanced techniques such as .singular vector. calculations are used to determine sensitive areas. The UAS program has developed the Global Hawk in cooperation with NASA; this platform could drop as many as 160 dropsondes in sensitive areas (e.g. over large upstream areas such as the Pacific Ocean), and along with downward looking sounders, significantly improve medium range predictions for dangerous storms.
Effective information planning and management will be critical to fully evaluating the potential of unmanned technology to successfully mitigate the loss of satellite information for weather prediction of high impact events. SHOUT project funding will be used to develop a strategic plan, demonstrate, and test a concept of operations for effectively and efficiently delivering SHOUT gap filling data for real-time operations, near-real time use, and for future use. This task will not build a duplicate information delivery and archival system but will be a systems engineering effort to address how to use current NOAA information management systems most effectively given the data volume and latency of Global Hawk observations. The technology readiness of Global Hawk data communication and payload systems must be evaluated for real-time utilization by operational weather prediction models and forecasters. Of particular importance to this task is the consideration of how UAS observations will be incorporated into operational data assimilation procedures in the event of an actual satellite observing gap. The development of a SHOUT information management strategic plan will be performed by Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) working collaboratively with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and NOAA building on experience in researching and developing NOAA meteorological information management systems. It is expected the team will also work collaboratively with existing NOAA information management teams to develop and demonstrate real-time data delivery, visualization, and archival for the UAS observations. An emphasis will be placed on leveraging current work but providing additional resources so the UAS observations will be managed and utilized in parallel with other data sets and not sequentially after other data sets. These tasks will include the development and implementation of the SHOUT information management requirements.
In accordance with the NOAA Data Management framework, the information management strategic plan will adhere to the following principles:
The SHOUT project will begin with a targeted observing effort using NASA Global Hawk platforms and payloads for observing and predicting high impact oceanic weather. As the project matures, other viable unmanned observing technologies may be incorporated into the observing strategies tested as operational prototypes.
Tasks / Activities
Following NOAA.s Environmental Data Management Framework (EDMF) a data management plan will be developed for handling UAS instrumentation package data covering ingest, integration, visualization, and archival. Recommendations from the plan will be used to prototype and demonstrate all phases of the UAS data life cycle from real-time operations to post analysis and research. The demonstration will build an improve upon NOAA.s operational and research data ingest, integration, visualization, and archival strategies in use today.
In summary, the proposed research effort falls under 4 general tasks/activities: