12th Conference on Aviation Range and Aerospace Meteorology


A weather decision aid for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle missions

David I. Knapp, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, NM; and J. Raby, E. Measure, R. C. Brown, and V. Gupta

The development and employment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has significantly expanded over the past few years to serve a wide variety of aviation uses. The U.S. military's use of UAVs in operations at all levels of the atmosphere has produced a requirement for fine-tuned precision weather forecasts and enroute updates of weather conditions which have not been met by current forecasting and data presentation capabilities. Military forecasters who support UAV missions and their UAV customers are faced with the need for pinpoint enroute UAV weather sensitivity predictions to plan and execute the UAV missions. The current operational tactical decision aid (TDA) for weather effects on UAVs requires repetitive operator tasks in order to produce a complete assessment along the planned flight route. An automated UAV Weather TDA which addresses the complexity of forecasting the weather for a 4-D UAV flight route is under development. The TDA will use rules-based and physics-based prediction methods for the generation of atmospheric effects. It will combine 2-D, 3-D and 4-D visualizations and data presentations to fuse available and subsequent updates of spatial and temporal forecast information for tailored prediction of weather impacts on the UAV. The TDA will also include technology to optimize the planned flight route taking into account all aspects of the flight mission profile. The TDA will employ intelligent agents to automate routine tasks involved in product generation and will update the weather database for creating these products with Nowcast data (0-3hr forecasts) when available. The TDA technology under development will be suitable for military and civilian UAV uses, to include UAV flights patrolling the continental and coastal borders of the Unites States.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.5M)

Poster Session 10, Range and Aerospace Posters
Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Exhibit Hall A2

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