159 Meteorological Support for Atmospheric Impacts Relative to Research in the Radio Science Community: A Call for Collaboration

Monday, 11 January 2016
Robert E. Marshall, Mount Pleasant Meteorology, Woodford, VA

As United States National Committee for the International Union of Radio Science (USNC/URSI) representative to the American Meteorological Society, the author has been asked to initiate and facilitate collaboration between the two research communities. The author was chosen for this position because he is a radio frequency engineer, meteorologist and a 40 year member of URSI commission F. Several of the scientific commissions of USNC/URSI deal with radio wave propagation through the atmosphere from the boundary layer through space. There are a number of national and international research efforts that have benefitted from radio scientists and meteorologists teaming, developing a common technical language, and effectively advancing science beneficial to both communities. This multidisciplinary approach has been recognized as a more efficient technique for research at the radio science/atmospheric science intersection. The purpose of this presentation is to begin a formal but convenient bridge between USNC/URSI and AMS. URSI Commission F: Wave Propagation and Remote Sensing, involves research in radio-meteorology, radio-oceanography and remote sensing of non-ionized media. The commission encourages: (a) radio wave propagation over the Earth's surface, (b) radio wave propagation in and interaction with the atmosphere, (c) radio wave interaction with the Earth's surface, ocean, land and ice, (d) radio wave propagation through and scattering by the subsurface medium, (e) characterization of the atmosphere as it affects radio wave phenomena, (f) the application of the results of these studies particularly in the areas of remote sensing and communications. There is a strong, approximately 10 year old activity in Commission F to employ mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to predict radio and infrared refractivity in the atmospheric boundary layer. Refractivity has a profound impact on the performance of radio frequency, infra-red and optical systems. Refractive impacts in stable internal boundary layers, entrainment layers and surface layers can be severe and difficult to resolve with NWP. This research is supported by recent international measurement campaigns over the Great Barrier Reef, North Sea, coastal North Carolina and Virginia. The ability to forecast radio frequency remote sensing and communications system performance during precipitation events is an active area of research in commission F. As more radio frequency applications at millimeter waves become common, the ability to forecast vertical profiles of water vapor and turbulent structure has become an important research area. URSI Commission G: Ionospheric Radio and Propagation involves research in ionospheric communications and remote sensing of ionized media. Specifically, study includes: (a) Global morphology and modeling of the ionosphere, (b) ionospheric space-time variations, (c) development of tools and networks needed to measure ionospheric properties and trends, (d) theory and practice of radio wave propagation via the ionosphere, (e) application of ionospheric information radio communications. Modeling and predicting ionospheric radio wave propagation for radar and communications systems performance predictions is a highly active research area for URSI Commission G. High Frequency (HF) over the horizon radar and communication systems are being investigated to estimate ionospheric properties such as total electron content (TEC). Radio frequency refraction, scintillation and phase shift due to ionospheric interactions impact the performance of systems and require dependable ionospheric forecasts. This paper will present the results of a survey taken by USNC/URSI scientists documenting the research areas where it has been determined that meteorological collaboration would be mutually beneficial to the AMS and USNC/URSI communities. The paper will also describe a USNC/URSI website mechanism that will host a “radio-scientist looking for meteorologist” data base.
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