748 Quantifying Spatial Separation Error in Tropospheric Wind Measurements

Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Nathan Curtis, NASA, Huntsville, AL; and R. E. Barbre Jr. and F. B. Leahy

Handout (985.3 kB)

Wind measurements from the surface through the troposphere are an important asset for both range and Day of Launch (DOL) operations. Weather balloons have long been used to fulfill this operational need. One of the drawbacks with the use of weather balloons in this capacity is that balloons released from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) area showed they could drift up to 200 km away from KSC by the time it reaches termination altitude (Decker 2017). Consequently, balloons could measure a different wind environment than the one pertinent to the Range and DOL operations. Curtis et al. (2019) used the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset to show that there are high correlations between wind measurement error and spatial distance, with Root Mean Square (RMS) deltas between 0.5 m/s and 6.3 m/s for separations from KSC between 30 km and 200 km. This study aims to replicate Curtis et al. (2019) using measured data instead of reanalysis data. The goal of this research is to gain a better understanding of wind measurement errors that could potentially affect DOL operations. Winds are compared between NASA’s Tropospheric Doppler Radar Wind Profiler (TDRWP) and balloon launches at KSC. Separations are defined by how far the balloon is from the TDRWP vertical plane and are binned into similar distance bins as Curtis et al. (2019). RMS deltas are further broken down by distance and height and results will be compared to the original NARR study.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner