Wednesday, 6 October 2004
The Otis Weather Test Facility (WTF) is located on the US Air National Guard Base, Cape Cod, MA. The Facility was originally established by the US Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory [now Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)] in 1974 to develop and evaluate weather sensors and systems. The USDOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center also began using the Facility in 1983 through a cooperative arrangement with AFRL and became the primary manager in 1999 when AFRL chose to terminate its operations. The WTF has been engaged in numerous weather sensor programs for the USAF and the FAA. Select examples of aviation weather systems that have been impacted by the Facility include the AF Tactical Ground Observing System (TGOS) and the FAA Runway Visual Range (RVR) and Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS). The WTF has also been used to support the development, testing and preparation of instrumentation for testing and experiments at airports such as Denver International Airport, Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, St. Louis International Airport and JFK International Airport. These latter activities have been in support of wake turbulence research, RVR sensor development and evaluation and a jet blast investigation. This paper presents a description of the Otis WTF and its capabilities for aviation weather-related studies. The site is particularly well-suited for visibility studies because of its climatology, which generally includes numerous opportunities for both winter snowfall and all-season fog events.
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