A common element behind all of these communications is electromagnetic radio spectrum. The complex network that ensures science data arrives from space - from weather radars and radiosondes to surface observations - all require the invisible and finite electromagnetic radio spectrum to convey data.
The demand for wireless broadband to supply our smart phones, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other technology data needs is ever increasing. However, care must be taken when proposing new uses for that spectrum, even in the name of advancing communications technologies, to avoid disarming current capabilities that provide for the safety of life and property.
This presentation will address several cases where weather infrastructure, which relies on unencumbered radio spectrum, enables broadcasters to reach wide audiences, quickly, with forecasts, warnings and advisories that originate from federal government sources. Some examples of alerts that rely on spectrum include:
- flood warnings and reports of when water levels will recede;
- evacuation orders in the advance of landfall for tropical cyclones; and
- advanced notice of tornado risk.
The examples will contrast public forecasts applicable to a large audience versus specialized products focused upon a specific industry segment or microclimate. Additionally, new features from the next-generation NOAA weather satellites, such as GOES-16, may yield improvements particularly to severe thunderstorm forecasting, but requires this frequency spectrum to not be encumbered or interfered with by other technologies. It is crucial these advances be made available for use by the public and private weather enterprise.