S144 Real-time Upper Air Support for NASA Scientific High Altitude Balloon Missions

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Brooke Ellyn Barker, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and S. N. Lane, M. S. Nichelson, D. T. Conlee, J. R. Hays, and R. R. Mullenax

As a part of the Student Operated ADRAD Project (SOAP) summer research program, Texas A&M collaborated with the nearby NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) to support high altitude balloon launch attempts during June 2016. SOAP students provided conventional upper air data from a student-run balloon launch to the CSBF in order to improve the forecasted path of the balloon.   The provided upper air data and the GFS model were used by CSBF climb-out algorithms to determine safety of the public, the scientific payload, and the likelihood of accomplishing needed science objectives.   The added value of the real time upper air data is assessed, and comparisons of soundings to the GFS model forecasts are examined for differences which led to forecasted path variations.   It is anticipated that this support relationship forged during the program will continue for future launches.
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