NASA wants a cost-effective atmospheric remote sensing system providing accurate temperature and humidity profiles to least 10 km height in clear and cloudy conditions. Radiometrics Microwave Profiler (MP) products currently provide accurate temperature and humidity profiles in good agreement with radiosondes to 3 km height. Good agreement can be extended beyond 10 km height using variational retrieval methods that combine radiometer and model gridded analysis. Pressure profiles derived from MP variational retrievals and from radiosonde observations show good agreement to 10 km height.
We propose to address this NASA remote sensing need by developing a robust, automated variational retrieval system providing radiosonde-equivalent temperature, humidity and pressure profiles to 20 km height at 150 m height intervals.
NASA also wants to improve lightning risk identification during cloudy conditions. Current Radiometrics MP products measure liquid water path (LWP), an important parameter for natural and triggered lightning risk Launch Commit Criteria (LCC).
We propose to address this need by developing a robust, automated lightning risk identification algorithm using MP LWP data and stability indices derived from MP variational retrievals. In addition, we propose to automate demonstrated capability for lightning risk identification more than two hours in advance of traditional methods based on electric field measurements based on stability indices derived from MP observations.
The LWDSS atmospheric remote sensing system addresses weather-related launch complex operational challenges, providing continuous radiosonde-like temperature, humidity and pressure soundings, and liquid soundings. The system will also identify lightning risk hours in advance of traditional electric field mill methods. These features will improve launch operation safety and efficiency and will reduce the cost of access to space.
A number of international airports are currently operating and evaluating Radiometrics SkyCastTM Total Profiling Solutions for airport weather decision support. An integrated wind and thermodynamic profiling system supporting airport weather applications is shown in operation at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in Figure 14. Meteo France is in discussion with RDX regarding implementation of a Launch Weather Decision Support System at the Arianne Launch Facility in French Guiana. The research and development supported by this NASA STTR will stimulate launch and airport weather decision support system commercialization. The RDX-CAPS team is developing and testing drone corridor weather decision support systems in collaboration with two companies closely engaged with the Upstate New York UAV test bed and the New York State Mesonet.