Overview of the Great Lakes Fleet Experiment Supplemental PIREP Program

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Wednesday, 1 February 2006
Overview of the Great Lakes Fleet Experiment Supplemental PIREP Program
Exhibit Hall A2 (Georgia World Congress Center)
Jamie T. Braid, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and R. S. Collander, P. Boylan, W. R. Moninger, and B. G. Brown

Supplemental Pilots' Reports (PIREPs) were collected to provide verification data for sensor measurements on the aircraft involved in the Great Lakes Fleet Experiment. A fleet of 64 Saab 340 turboprop aircraft owned by Mesaba Airlines is fitted with a special weather sensor called TAMDAR (Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting). The TAMDAR sensors record a variety of data including temperature, relative humidity, pressure and icing. The TAMDAR sensor also computes pressure altitude, indicated air speed, true air speed and winds.

In parallel to the TAMDAR sensor data collection, the pilots of instrumented Mesaba Airlines aircraft were asked to complete a supplemental paper PIREP form. On this form the pilots documented temperature, icing and turbulence intensity, precipitation and whether they were in or out of cloud during the three phases (climb, cruise and decent) of their flights. These reports are available in a database for use in a variety of studies, including matching the PIREP reports with reports of icing and turbulence from the TAMDAR reports themselves.

This paper details both methods and preliminary results of this supplemental PIREP program. This paper will also discuss future areas of research where the PIREPs may be used.