4A.3 A Cloud-based Method for Displaying 3-D Wind Fields on Mobile Devices

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 2:00 PM
611 (Washington State Convention Center )
Darrell W. Pepper, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV; and M. Ramos

A local meshless technique has been developed to display 3-D wind fields within the Las Vegas Valley. The model is designed to obtain real-time data from fire departments within the Clark County region of Nevada, which includes the Cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson (Nielson, 2005). Wind speeds, directions, and temperatures at each fire department, including access to local National Weather Service data and forecasts, will be used to provide data to the model.

Figure 1 shows the fire station locations (denoted by red dots), a hypothetical set of wind vectors, and the resulting 3-D wind field. By utilizing a local meshless technique coupled with a mass consistent technique (Pepper and Waters, 2016; Waters and Pepper, 2015), it is possible to rapidly display a 3-D wind field based upon the sparse set of data transmitted via the internet from the fire departments.  

Meshless methods are uniquely simple, yet provide solution accuracies for certain classes of equations that rival those of finite elements and boundary elements without requiring the need for mesh connectivity. Mesh-free methods have the following advantages: (1) they require neither domain nor boundary discretization; (2) domain integration is not required; (3) they converge exponentially for smooth boundary shapes and boundary data; (4) they are attractive to use for high dimensional problems; and (5) they are easy to program. The method is particularly appealing for evaluating contaminant transport as well as risk assessment issues.

Utilizing a connection to the internet, first responders can make use of their mobile devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops, to access real-time models of the 3-D wind fields. Such models can be developed through a programming package such as MATLAB. Other packages may incorporate C/C++, Python, or Java, but programming for mobile devices typically requires knowledge of such scripting languages as Python, Go, Swift (for Apple) or Corona (for Androids).

The meshless method provides the analysis needed for modeling wind fields without the computational cost, a luxury first responders do not have when faced with an emergency situation. The wind field model will enable fire stations and firemen carrying their mobile devices to display meteorological data updated in real-time. First responders can work together on an emergency, sharing local predictions that may eventually impact other jurisdictions, which can also access the same models.


  1. Nielson, L. B. (2005), Homeland Security Emergency Response Wind Field Plume Flow, MS Thesis, UNLV.
  2. Pepper, D. W. (1980): "An Automated Emergency Meteorological Response System," invited paper presented at the National Petroleum Refiners Association Computer Conf., No. 16‑19, Philadelphia, PA, 23 p.
  3. Pepper, D. W. and J. Waters (2016), “A Local Meshless Method for Approximating 3-D Wind Fields,” J. Appl. Meteor. and Clim., Vol. 55, pg. 163-172.
  4. Waters, J., and D. W. Pepper (2015), “Global versus localized RBF meshless methods for solving incompressible fluid flow with heat transfer,” Numer. Heat Transf., 68B, 185–203.

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