11B.2 Experimental applications of Mobile Vehicle Observations: Scientific and technical challenges associated with the utilization of vehicle probe data

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 11:15 AM
Room 355 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Barbara G. Brown, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Billmire, N. French, J. D. Horel, N. Lucke, J. Wang, J. Zeng, A. R. S. Anderson, J. A. Lee, L. Sturges, and P. Pisano

To investigate the potential benefits of enhanced surface observations from connected vehicle observations, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently undertook a study of applications of new surface observations in partnership with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and three U.S. universities. The goal of this effort was to identify research problems that could be facilitated through the use of surface vehicle-based observations. This effort was part of an overall project on “Utilization of Vehicle Probe Data to Support Weather Hazard Diagnosis and Prediction”; the other component of the project focused on an investigation of the impact of dense vehicle probe measurements on the capabilities of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to predict surface weather conditions.

Through the university projects – with University of Utah, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and Michigan Technological University – four problem areas were identified and scoped. These areas focus on (i) architecture concepts for collecting, archiving, and disseminating high impact connected vehicle observations; (ii) probabilistic quality control for connected vehicle observations; (iii) the use of enhanced observations to improve weather-based mapping of fire danger and fire emissions inventories; and (iv) improvement of NWP model predictions of air quality and visibility forecasts through assimilation of the mobile observations with the Weather Research and Forecasting Chemistry (WRF-Chem) modeling system. In each area the scope of the problem and the expected benefits associated with utilization of the observations were addressed, and potential benefits were identified.

The presentation will include a review of the four research problems developed for this project. The types of data available from connected vehicles will be summarized in the context of these novel applications. The potential benefits associated with carrying out the applications explored and impediments to implementation of the ideas will be addressed, along with next steps that would need to be taken to ensure their success.

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