The meteorological sensors supporting operations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center are perhaps the most unique and dense suite of operational weather sensors in operational meteorology. These sensors include: 44 weather towers distributed over a 30 x 40 Km area, five 915 MHz boundary layer wind and virtual temperature profilers, a 50 MHz tropospheric profiler, local weather balloons, a 3-D lightning detector, a cloud-ground lightning detector, a network of 31 surface electric field mills with rain gauges, four surface observation sites, two weather radars (5 cm modified WSR-74C/IRIS at Patrick AFB, and 10 cm WSR-88D at National Weather Service Melbourne), and a GPS-Precipitable Water sensor operated by the Cape Canaveral Coast Guard. In addition, the Florida Institute of Technology operates some meteorological and oceanographic sensors. These sensors are located about 25 miles south of Spaceport Florida and include an automated weather station (temperature, dew point, wind, and surface pressure), a GPS-Precipitable Water sensor, a tide gauge, a wave gauge providing directional spectrum, a sky camera, and research devices from which weather related data can be inferred such as solar panels, irradiance meter, wind turbines, etc. As with the Spaceport Florida sensors, most of the Florida Institute of Technology sensors operate continuously; the data are routinely saved and are available to outside researchers. Finally, the National Data Buoy Center operates three nearby data buoys and three nearby Coastal-Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) stations.
This paper will discuss the special meteorological and oceanographic sensors available to support coastal research around the east central coast of Florida. The authors hope this information will help coastal researchers and will lead to collaborative mutually beneficial operational research.