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

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 9:30 AM
Weather and Terrain Integration for Mission Planning
La Nouvelle A (New Orleans Convention Center )
Laura Clemente, Engineer Research and Development Center, Alexandria, VA

Terrain and weather information systems have, historically, been separate entities in military mission planning. This effort integrates dynamic weather and terrain information to support the development of tactical decision aids and planning tools for military personnel. This process utilizes data from atmospheric models, creates value-added information through processing and additional forecasting completed by Fast All Seasons Soil Strength (FASST), and feeds information into ground mobility, air routing, sensor, and acoustic models for planning.

The system utilizes atmospheric forecasts from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model through Joint METOC (Meteorology and Oceanography) Broker Language (JMBL) requests to the Air Force Weather Agency(AFWA). The system is designed for ease of use such that an individual with no meteorological background can set the system up to run over the desired area of analysis. The system can be directly set up by editing a script file or, simply, through the use of a toolbar in ArcGIS. Data returned from AFWA are separated into surface and upper air parameter sets. Surface forecast data is processed and prepared for use by Fast All Season Soil Strength (FASST), a physics-based state-of-the-ground model soon to be incorporated into the AFWA Land Information System (Please see abstract submitted by Dr. Susan Frankenstein of CRREL). State of the ground forecasts are completed by FASST for each time step an AFWA forecast is available. A weather grid, capable of adapting on the fly to the highest resolution data available from AFWA, applies this surface parameter set, consisting of WRF and FASST forecast data, to the terrain. The output is available in ASCII and ArcGIS geodatabase formats for use by ground mobility planning, regional sensor probability detection, and acoustic propagation and detection models. The upper air data set is available for use by the Air Maneuver Network Generator which helps unmanned aircraft system planners determine the best route to accomplish mission objectives. When weather impacts are significant, the effects will be displayed in the tactical decision aid.

The original system has been transitioned to two companies. The first has used it as a baseline and created a wrap around graphical user interface so researchers within and outside the ERDC can choose the atmospheric and/or FASST parameters they want to test within their modeling systems and/or decision aids. The second is utilizing the functionality for a developing Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort. This system is also in line for integration with in the weather portion of the Distributed Common Ground System in FY12. Numerous improvements and additions have been proposed to enhance the weather functionality and applicability in the upcoming year. 11-->

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