Environmental applications research

Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) Project

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Range Standardization and Automation (RSA) Project

Participating CIRA Scientists: Chris Anderson and Steve Albers

1. Long-term Research Objectives and Specific Plans to Achieve Them:

In early 2000s, the Air Force initiated the RSA program to modernize and standardize the command and control infrastructure of the two U.S. Space Launch facilities (ranges) located at Vandenberg AFB, California and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. In collaboration with Lockheed Martin Mission Systems staff serving as system integrator, ESRL/GSD developed and installed an integrated local data assimilation and forecasting system at the Western and Eastern Ranges with capabilities to incorporate local meteorological sensor data. Upgrades, enhancements and maintenance to the system continued.
2. Research Accomplishments/Highlights:
We continue to maintain LAPS analysis shadow runs on the GSD cluster in support of the on-site LAPS/MM5 runs for range safety operations at Kennedy Space Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base. The system was modified over the previous year to include initialization from real-time SST analysis that is received in the data feed to the US Space Launch facilities.
Software logging information was improved to assist the selection of the level used in the surface reduced pressure analysis. Guidance and software assistance to the Western Range was provided to get Level-II and Level-III radar ingest working again. Tower data declarations were fixed for the newer RSA Met Tower routines we are using on the GSD shadow run. We also helped verify that LAPS running at the ranges is satisfying the requirement agreements for data ingest and analysis.

3. Comparison of Objectives Vs Actual Accomplishments for the Report Period:

Our accomplishments for this project compare favorably with the goals projected in the statement of work.
4. Leveraging/Payoff:
5. Research Linkages/Partnerships:
6. Awards/Honors:
7. Outreach:
8. Publications

Model Ensembles and Ensemble Post Processing

Participating CIRA Scientists: Chris Anderson and Isidora Jankov

Ensemble forecast system testing and implementation continued in support of the Hydrometeorological Testbed. Recently, the forecast length of the system was extended from 24 to 72 hours. Testing of the system included using the ensemble output to drive stream-flow models to provide ensemble river stage forecasts and designing alternative domain configurations to accommodate a wider user base.

Ensemble work is described more extensively in connection with the HMT project below.

Wind PADS (Precision Airdrop)

NOAA/CIRA funding was unavailable for work during this period.

Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (CWB)

Participating CIRA Scientists: Steve Albers and Chris Anderson

1. Long-term Research Objectives and Specific Plans to Achieve Them:

See LAPS/WRF Improvements under section 1.
2. Research Accomplishments/Highlights:

Several LAPS analysis runs for Taiwan domains both at GSD and at the CWB continue to be maintained. One of our runs on EJET is being evaluated and compared with the GSI run. Some improvements to the radar remapping code lookup tables were made so they work properly on EJET. Our ACARS ingest was improved so it can bring in the aircraft observations for our CWB runs.

We worked with the CWB towards the goal of improving the velocity dealiasing software they are contributing to LAPS. We worked to reestablish the tropical cyclone bogusing data feed from their new server for our GSD runs.
Collaborating with others in FAB, we coordinated the preparation of our LAPS/WRF Ensemble modeling software on a DVD for delivery to the CWB.
A README file was started to help in understanding and documenting how the new STMAS-3D software operates.
3. Comparison of Objectives Vs Actual Accomplishments for Report Period:
Our accomplishments for this project compare favorably with the goals projected in the statement of work.

NWS Interaction

Participating CIRA Researchers: Ed Szoke, Steve Albers, Chris Anderson, and Isidora Jankov


We continued our interaction with the local National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Boulder, located within the David Skaggs Research Center. The interaction includes Ed Szoke working forecast shifts at the Boulder WFO. There are also occasional cooperative research projects, some resulting in co-authored conference papers. Additionally, one of the Boulder forecasters does periodic weather briefings as a part of the long-running Daily Weather Briefing program, which involves a 30-minute weather briefing held on every workday at 11:00 am in GSD. Several CIRA researchers also take part in presenting and producing weather briefings.

Regional Climate Studies

Participating CIRA Scientist: Chris Anderson

(Additional NOAA Mission Goal to Understand climate variability and change to enhance society’s ability to plan and respond / Climate predictions and projections)

A modeling system was developed based on WRF that can be used to perform seasonal to decadal regional simulations of climate. The system will be used to test the utility of downscaling seasonal forecasts from the Climate Forecast System for use in western water management decisions.

Chris worked with the Western Water Assessment in NOAA/PSD to provide an educational seminar and initial analysis in support of Colorado front range water managers, who prepared a grant to assess sensitivity of decision tools to climate shifts.

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