5th GOES Users' Conference


Application of Multi-Spectral Data to Space Shuttle Landing Operations

Doris A. Hood, NWS Spaceflight Meteorology Group, Houston, TX; and T. Garner and T. Oram

The National Weather Service, Spaceflight Meteorology Group (SMG) supports NASA's manned spaceflight program at Johnson Space Center. One of the main operational functions is support of the Space Shuttle program by providing landing forecasts that include launch intact abort sites, on orbit primary landing site selection and end of mission landings. The United States landing sites are Kennedy Space Center, FL, White Sands Space Harbor, NM and Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The main European abort sites known as Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) sites include Zaragoza and Moron, Spain as well as Istres, France.

Geostationary satellite imagery ingested at the SMG includes GOES East, GOES West and Meteosat Second Generation data. The geostationary satellite imagery is displayable in a McIDAS-based system and the Advanced Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS). Digital imagery from several polar orbiting satellites is also available from NESDIS and NASA servers. The SMG is also working on ingesting AWIPS-compatible Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer data from the University of Wisconsin.

Meteosat data have been invaluable as a forecasting tool for the TAL sites since 1987. The new Meteosat Second Generation imagery has been available at the SMG since May 2005. All bands of the Meteosat Second Generation data are ingested in real time into the SMG Man computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) including the three solar channels, eight thermal channels and a 1 km high-resolution visible channel. The data can be displayed as individual bands, multi-channel differencing imagery or as multi-channel color combinations. The multi-channel color combination imagery was initially displayable only as a single image frame, not time sequenced loops. NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center has provided the SMG with the capability to loop multi-channel color combination imagery. The high resolution visible, infrared and water vapor imagery are also sent via the Local Data Acquisition and Display System for display in AWIPS. During Space Shuttle operations, each forecaster has access to a display for both McIDAS and AWIPS.

Extensive training occurred during 2007 to familiarize the SMG forecasters with the utility of the various bands individually and in combination. Operational use of multi-channel differencing and color combination imagery has increased. Several examples will be shown from the June 2007 shuttle flight and the three additional flights expected to be completed by December 2007.

Poster Session 1, Fifth GOES Users' Confererence Poster Session
Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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