Monday, 12 January 2004
Support of the Air Force Weather Agency's Global Theater Weather Analysis and Prediction System (GTWAPS) and Cloud Depiction Forecast System-II (CDFS-II): A Current Status Report
Advances in computational science and the field of meteorology have made possible great strides in numerical weather prediction and in specialized forecast systems designed to produce tailored weather products. Northrop Grumman Mission Systems provides the system engineering, management and sustainment support for two such specialized systems at the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA): the Global Theater Weather Analysis and Prediction System (GTWAPS) and the Cloud Depiction and Forecast System (CDFS-II). These forecast systems provide highly specialized meteorological forecasts and precision tailored products globally to support worldwide military users in mission planning and support.
The cornerstone of the GTWAPS system, the Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale model, MM5,is run operationally over most of the land surface of the globe with varying resolution. The GTWAPS system includes several models, which were designed to specifically meet DoD, DOT, and other federal agency’s needs. Satellite data are integrated to better depict the snow cover with the Snow Depth (SNODEP) module and surface moisture and vegetative characteristics via the Agriculture Meteorological (AGRMET) module. The Land Surface Model (LSM) has enabled a better coupling of land and oceanic models for a seamless initialization of the earth’s surface. While these specialized models have demonstrated utility as ‘stand alone’ models, they enable a better initialization of MM5 model runs, which implies improved forecasts. This system also visualizes much of its produced data with the Gridded Analysis and Display System (GRADS). In the next two years, a transition from MM5 to the Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRF) will take place. On site research with a four-dimensional variational assimilation scheme will enable the integration of numerous ‘non-standard’ weather observations to be integrated into next generation physics models.
The Cloud Depiction and Forecast System - Version II (CDFS-II) provides near real-time global cloud analysis operations at AFWA. CDFS-II integrates new science algorithms and operational infrastructure to analyze combined global-coverage data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) program, and the international constellation of geostationary environmental satellites. CDFS-II combines visible and infrared data collected from multiple satellites to produce virtually seamless cloud analyses and forecasts. CDFS-II is the only operational cloud forecast system in the world to date.
This paper provides a status on these two systems, and describes the support and infrastructure in terms of system engineering, management and sustainment of the GTWAPS and CDFS-II systems. Since clouds impact operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms and sensors, accurate depiction with high temporal and spatial resolution is a necessity for military operations. System support and integration services are included in NGMS support of this unique analysis and forecast system.