Ninth Symposium on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface (IOAS-AOLS)


Developing the ADAS/ARPS as a satellite data assimilation testbed at the University of Alabama in Huntsville

John R. Mecikalski, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL; and W. M. Lapenta, K. M. LaCasse, K. Doty, and G. J. Jedlovec

With the co-location of NASA MSFC, its Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center, the Atmospheric Science Department, and the Huntsville National Weather Service Forecast Office (HUN WFO), at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), the components are in place for a testbed in support of various components of mesoscale, short-term forecasting (0-24 h period), that focusses on the use of satellite data and its assimilation into NWP models. A testbed is defined here as an infrastructure of instrumentation, modeling and expertise useful for the testing of theories, hypotheses and instrumentation via field activities for the purpose of scientific advancement.

Given the capabilities of the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) Data Analysis System (ADAS) assimilation and NWP model, satellite data assimilation activities at UAH are becoming organized and able to address national needs for routine, satellite data-driven short-term prediction and research. The ADAS is a high-resolution (2 km) data assimilation system that provides atmospheric analyses at up to ~15 min frequencies (depending on the data sets assimilated). At UAH, the ADAS will be operated in two modes in support of Testbed activities: (a) a regional "Flat" (4-level) set-up for the production of mainly surface weather analyses, and (b) a "3D" (50+ levels) mode useful for assimilation experiments that develop methods for using satellite moisture and temperature retrievals from various sources (e.g., GOES/AIRS/GPS moisture, MODIS SSTs). Use of ADAS will facilitate learning how to assimilate a variety of remote-sensing data, including more complicated information such as polarmetric radar, Mobile Integrated Profiling System (MIPS) profiles, and total lightning (from the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array), datasets which are routinely collected in the near-vicinity of UAH. A specific goal for operating the UAH ADAS includes validation of NWS IFPS grid-based forecast products.

This presentation outlines the formal development of ADAS/ARPS as components of the "UAH-NASA SPoRT Remote sensing, Nowcasting and Data assimilation Testbed" (hereafter, "RND Testbed"). Other components of the Testbed (instrumentation, data assimilation research, etc.) will also be detailed. The Testbed is viewed as a decade-long effort that will evolve to meet national interests for testbed-oriented research, operating in a perpetual mode in support of various research and forecast activities across the NWS Southern Region.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (360K)

Poster Session 2, Poster Session 2
Tuesday, 11 January 2005, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM

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