92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 2:00 PM
Optimization of In-Situ Aircraft and UAS Observations for Various Assimilation Techniques
Room 239 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Neil A. Jacobs, AirDat LLC, Morrisville, NC; and P. Childs, H. Richardson, F. Gao, X. Zhang, X. Y. Huang, X. Zhang, and Y. Liu

The Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) sensor measures humidity, pressure, temperature, winds aloft, icing, and turbulence, along with the corresponding location, time, and altitude from built-in GPS. These observations are transmitted in real time to a ground-based network operations center via a global satellite network.

A miniaturized version of the TAMDAR unit was designed for unmanned aircraft systems or vehicles (UAS/UAVs). With minimal weight, size, and power consumption, this probe can be fixed to UAVs as small as the AAAI Arcturus and Aerostars.

TAMDAR-UAS Flight Test (TUFT) field experiment was designed to test the ability of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to capture data that would provide positive impact into a limited area model. Within this experiment were tests on various flight tracks and levels to also determine the potential for maximum sampling efficiency given the ability to predetermine a route of travel. Data was collected, and several data-denial experiments were conducted. These experiments include variations on assimilation methodology, as well as horizontal and vertical model coordinate structure, to extract the maximum value from a single-platform in-situ observing system. Results will be presented at the conference.

During 2011, AirDat and NCAR have been optimizing the operational suite of CONUS-Scale Advanced Research WRF (ARW) models known as the NCAR-AirDat RTFDDA-WRF and the NCAR-AirDat 3D- and 4DVAR-WRF. These systems employ various assimilation frameworks and techniques, and are tested here for both standard TAMDAR data, as well as the UAV observations.

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