Session 7.6 Tropospheric Airborne Meterological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) Sensor Development

Wednesday, 6 October 2004: 11:45 AM
Taumi Daniels, NASA, Hampton, VA; and G. Tsoucalas, M. Anderson, D. J. Mulally, W. Moninger, and R. Mamrosh

Presentation PDF (1.6 MB)

As part of NASA’s Aviation Safety Program, the TAMDAR project has been working to develop a low-cost sensor for aircraft flying in the lower troposphere. This activity has been a joint effort with support from FAA, NOAA, and industry. This paper reports the overall TAMDAR sensor development effort.

The ultimate goal is to develop a small low-cost sensor, collect useful meteorological data, downlink the data in near real time, and use the data to improve weather forecasts. The TAMDAR system is intended to make observations below 20,000 ft. The envisioned system will be initially used on regional and package carrier aircraft. The ultimate users of the data are National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) forecast modelers. Other users include air traffic controllers, flight service stations, and airline weather centers.

NASA is working with AirDat of Raleigh, NC to develop the sensor. The sensor is capable of measuring temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and icing. It can compute pressure altitude, indicated air speed, true air speed, peak turbulence, ice accretion rate, wind speed and direction, and eddy dissipation rate. Summary results from various flight tests are presented along with collaborative data from aircraft instruments. Additional results from tests within ground-based facilities are also provided.

The design for the sensor has undergone numerous improvements and modifications leading up to the existing model. AirDat has applied for a FAA STC for use on the Saab 340. NASA, AirDat, and Mesaba Airlines have joined together to perform a fleet deployment. Mesaba Airlines has a fleet of 64 Saab 340s that fly routes over the Great Lakes region. After all the aircraft are equipped, the six month fleet experiment will commence. A brief discussion of the fleet experiment is provided.

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