MISTiC Winds, a Distributed Architecture Approach to Dynamic Weather Observations
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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 10:45 AM
232A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
MISTiC Winds is an approach based on a miniature high resolution, wide field, thermal emission spectrometry instrument that will provide global tropospheric vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity at high (2-3 km) spatial resolution. Its extraordinarily small size, low mass, and minimal cooling requirements can be accommodated aboard a small micro-satellite. Low fabrication and launch costs enable a LEO sun-synchronous sounding constellation that would collectively provide frequent (1-2 hour) sounding refresh rates or frequent, vertically resolved, tropospheric wind observations. These observations are highly complementary to present and emerging environmental observing systems, and would provide a combination of high vertical and horizontal resolution not provided by any other environmental observing system currently in operation. These observations, when assimilated into high resolution weather models, would revolutionize short-term and severe weather forecasting, save lives, and support key economic decisions in the utility, air transport industry, and agricultureľat much lower cost than providing these observations from GEO. In addition, this observation capability would be a critical tool in the study of transport processes for water vapor, clouds, pollution, and aerosols.
Key technical risks in meeting these objectives relate to providing accurate, precise radiometry within the limited accommodations of a micro-satellite, and will be reduced through laboratory, airborne, and radiation-tolerance testing under NASA's Instrument Incubator Program.
This innovative approach, utilizing state of the art sensor technology in a novel architecture, will make critical new atmospheric state and transport observations affordable to the nation.