83rd Annual

Monday, 10 February 2003
A demonstration of real-time transmission and display of GOES imagery aboard the NOAA P-3 aircraft during the 2002 hurricane season
John A. Knaff, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and N. Wang, M. DeMaria, R. M. Zehr, J. S. Griffin, and F. D. Marks
Poster PDF (1.3 MB)
NOAA's two WP-3D aircraft are the primary tools for the annual hurricane field program of the Hurricane Research Division (HRD). The P-3 aircraft are also used for operational reconnaissance missions to supplement the flights of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, which operates out of Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. During the hurricane off-season, the P-3 aircraft are used for many other atmospheric research missions throughout the world. The P-3 aircraft are instrumented to collect flight-level atmospheric data, can release dropwindsondes to obtain vertical profiles of atmospheric parameters, and have on-board Doppler radars. However, the P-3s currently do not have the capability to display or animate on-board satellite imagery in real-time because the ability to obtain real-time satellite data on the P-3 aircraft is limited by the bandwidth of the communications system. However, the capability to display and animate satellite imagery would significantly aid the operational reconnaissance missions providing additional information that will support reconnaissance duties and data collection.

Because of the potential beneficial impacts of satellite data upon P-3 data collection activities, a demonstration project was undertaken during the 2002 Hurricanes season to display and animate real-time GOES satellite data aboard these aircraft. This effort combines the efforts currently underway at the NOAA Hurricane Research Division to increase the communication capabilities of the P-3s using cell-phone and Internet technology, GOES satellite data and recent advances in data compression technology being conducted at NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory. Even with the recent P-3 to ground communication improvements, the bandwidth is still very limited (maximum rate of 2400 baud), it is a large improvement over what was previously available. To accomplish the goals of this demonstration project, advanced wavelet transform techniques are applied to GOES satellite imagery that allow the transmission of large data volumes associated with satellite data over the very limited bandwidths that available for communication with the P-3 aircraft.

This presentation will discuss the details of the this demonstration project including what datasets were compresses and transmitted, how the data were compressed, how the data were displayed and animated and the overall performance of the system. We will also report on the success of the project, which is scheduled for September of 2002.

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