The Great Lakes Fleet Experiment is expected to begin October 1st and continue into the spring or summer of 2005. It is being conducted to determine if the use of TAMDAR data will result in numerical model and forecast improvements. TAMDAR units will be installed on 64 Mesaba Airlines (Northwest Airlines Regional Airline) Saab 340 aircraft by the end of September 2004. These aircraft fly to approximately 80 cities across the central and eastern United States and southern Canada. TAMDAR units will collect data and transmit via satellite to Airdat's data center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The data will be processed and delivered in real time to two internet web pages hosted by NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) and Airdat, respectively. These data will also be available to NWS meteorologists via the Advanced Weather Interactive Processor (AWIPS) and to FSL as input to retrospective runs of the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model.
Meteorologists in NWS and airline weather offices will use the data in forecasts and warnings, and will be asked to evaluate the accuracy, timeliness and usefullness of TAMDAR data. FSL modelers will run the RUC with and without TAMDAR and calculate improvements due to inclusion of TAMDAR data.