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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 2:45 PM
Navy Tropical Cyclone Satellite Meteorology: Research to Operations (R2O)
La Nouvelle A (New Orleans Convention Center )
Jeffrey D. Hawkins, NRL, Monterey, CA; and T. F. Lee, K. Richardson, J. E. Solbrig, M. Surratt, F. J. Turk, A. P. Kuciauskas, S. Yang, R. L. Bankert, G. Poe, J. Vermeulen, J. Tesmer, Y. Wang, P. McCrone, and J. Kent

The Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) Marine Meteorology Division (Monterey, CA) works in tandem with our collocated partner, the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), to create solutions to real-world Navy problems via innovative satellite meteorological products. This task has been successfully accomplished by leveraging the unique suite of near real-time digital satellite data sets available to “Team Monterey”. A combination of seven (7) geostationary (GEO) and twenty-six (26) low earth orbiting (LEO) sensors (visible, infrared, and microwave) provide the spatial, spectral and temporal sampling needed to explore multiple applications geared towards specific DOD problems. The near real-time data sets permit demonstrations that provide potential new users with examples for intercomparison with legacy products, enhance user feedback, and shorten the time from initial technique development to a successful operational product transition.

Team Monterey is able to carry out these efforts via extensive collaboration with multiple agencies: the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO), and the CloudSat data processing center at Colorado State University (CSU). Our team then leverages billions of dollars in spacecraft hardware, satellite ingest facilities and ground processing to achieve data latencies ranging from less than an hour for the seven GEO sensors to 1-5 hours for the LEO sensors, with most in the range of 1-3 hours. Our efforts to incorporate both R&D microwave imagers (TMI, AMSR-E, and WindSat) alongside operational sensors (SSM/I and SSMIS) in addition to microwave sounders (AMSU-B, MHS) has provided the temporal sampling sorely needed to potentially monitor rapid TC intensity changes. The NRL TC web resource began in 1997 and was transitioned to FNMOC in 2001 and periodic upgrades continue as funding is available.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC, Pearl Harbor, HI) has DOD responsibility for issuing tropical cyclone (TC) warnings for the entire Pacific and Indian Oceans in addition to the southern hemisphere. This vast area of responsibility requires extensive use of GEO/LEO sensors in order to satisfy the temporal and spatial TC monitoring task. Team Monterey has led the effort to harness the advantages of microwave sensors to see through non-raining clouds and map TC location, structure, and intensity. This effort has led to R&D and operational TC web pages that efficiently distribute near real-time products used not only by JTWC, but the National Hurricane Center (NHC, Miami, FL) and the rest of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) TC warning centers around the globe. New satellite sensors and algorithms are first tested by NRL via a near real-time demonstration and then transitioned to FNMOC operations after positive JTWC user interaction.

Successful transitions are facilitated by several factors: 1) tapping common near real-time satellite digital data sets, 2) using common satellite ingest and processing software (SeaSpace TeraScan) for basic functions, 3) fifteen years of interacting and understanding what works best, and 4) incorporating the extensive talents of Team Monterey personnel. Additional resources are now available in the form of an enhanced NRL satellite processing Linux cluster and a new beta computer at FNMOC that will enable NRL members to host and test satellite techniques and transition in a more seamless manner.

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