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.