TJ19.2A 20 Years of the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center at MacDill Air Force Base

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 11:15 AM
Room 4ABC (Austin Convention Center)
Jack Parrish, NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, MacDill AFB, FL; and A. B. Damiano and P. Flaherty

Shortly after the devastating impact of Hurricane Andrew's (1992) south Florida landfall, the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center relocated from the Miami International Airport to MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) in Tampa. Over the last 20 years of improving aircraft utilization and transition, instrument and scientific system development, historical tropical cyclones and newsworthy events, this poster characterizes the NOAA Aircraft Operation Center's vital role to our nation while calling MacDill AFB home. The timeline will include, (1) acquisition and integration of the NOAA G-IVSP Gulfstream high-altitude jet for Tropical Cyclone (TC) surveillance and winter storm reconnaissance, (2) multi-purpose utilization of GPS dropwindsondes into all aspects of airborne atmospheric research, (3) continued improvement of hurricane track forecasts, partially attributable to airborne observations, (4) the use of highly-accurate aircraft-launched expendable oceanic probes for the measurement of ocean/air interaction and its impact on severe weather, (5) perfecting of the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometry (SFMR) instrument to the point of it becoming a production device for installation onto the Air Force Reserves WC-130 hurricane hunter fleet, (6) the successful installation and testing of a Tail Doppler Radar (TDR) onto the NOAA G-IV jet, adding to the Doppler capability already present on the NOAA WP-3D Orions, (7) streamlining of the AOC light aircraft fleet, advancing toward a more versatile and efficient fleet to satisfy NOAA goals, and (8) the new and rapidly expanding AOC role in Unmanned Aerial Systems acquisition, operation, instrumentation, and scientific objectives. The poster also looks ahead to the next twenty years and what we anticipate airborne atmospheric science will involve during that period.
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