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Use of TAMDAR-U equipped small tactical UAS for improved near term battlefield forecasts

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Use of TAMDAR-U equipped small tactical UAS for improved near term battlefield forecasts
Washington State Convention Center
Jamie T. Braid, AirDat LLC, Lakewood, CO; and T. Jameson and R. Fuschino

The Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) sponsored a research and development program to determine the impact of using a small tactical Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to collect atmospheric data near the battlefield, and transmit that data in near real time for ingestion in short-term battlefield forecasting models. The Army Research Lab (ARL), Battlefield Environment Division (BED) was responsible for developing the experiment and running the forecasting models. To collect the atmospheric data, AirDat, LLC integrated their prototype UAS-optimized Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR-U) senor on New Mexico State University/Physical Sciences Lab (NMSU/PSL) Aerostar UAS. A number of Aerostar/TAMDAR-U data flights were conducted in the New Mexico UAS airspace near Las Cruces International Airport. Concurrent with each of these data gathering flights, a Radiosonde was launched from Las Cruces International Airport. This Radiosonde data, as well as data from other area weather facilities, were gathered and archived for analysis.

This presentation will discuss the TAMDAR-U research and development project from design, integration, testing, and calibration of the TAMDAR-U sensor on the Aerostar aircraft to the analysis of the models with and without the TAMDAR-U data. Findings, conclusions, and recommendations for future research will be discussed. Finally, implications and benefits of deployment of atmospheric sensors on small UASs for improved battlefield environmental knowledge will be presented.