Wednesday, 6 October 2004: 11:15 AM
For several years, Vaisala has operated a three-dimensional total lightning detection system called LDAR II in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area for research and technology evaluation purposes. The system is based on the original Lightning Detection and Ranging (LDAR) system at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. As of early summer 2004, the DFW LDAR II system will also be providing data in real-time for use in operational settings as part of a project coordinated through the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center. SPoRT is designed to facilitate the introduction of experimental products into operations and to measure the effect of those products on nowcasting and severe weather warning operations. Thus, the first users of the real-time DFW LDAR II data are forecasters at the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Fort Worth. However, because of the proximity of the Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) and the major airport at DFW, it is envisioned that other experimental products could easily be made available for real-time aviation operations as well. In this paper, we first discuss the operational transition project and our role within it in more detail. We then describe some of the major experimental products that are being evaluated at the Fort Worth WFO, and finally, we propose some additional experimental products that might be better suited to aviation users.
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