Using Real-Time Weather Data from an Unmanned Aircraft System to Support the Advanced Research Version of the Weather Research and Forecast Model

Report No. ARL-TR-5950
Authors: Jeffrey E. Passner, Stephen Kirby, and Terry Jameson
Date/Pages: April 2012; 70 pages
Abstract: A large information gap exists in available weather data used to initialize mesoscale weather models. Currently, a variety of weather data are used as input for model initialization; however, these data are lacking in remote and dangerous areas in particular and give forecasters a very incomplete overview of the global environment especially in the vertical. For military operations, these data sources may even be more sporadic or inconsistent in time and space due to dangers involved, thus it becomes even more imperative to find alternate sources of model input. One possible solution to this problem is placing meteorological instruments on-board unmanned aircraft systems which would provide observations at a variety of altitudes and time of day when observations are not routinely available. These data can then be input into the Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting mode (WRF-ARW). This study explains how this is accomplished and some preliminary results from the flight days.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2012