Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New airborne GPS technology for weather conditions takes flight

18.03.2014

First demonstration captures key meteorological data, offers potential of better hurricane forecasting 

GPS technology has broadly advanced science and society’s ability to pinpoint locations and motion, from driving directions to tracking ground motions during earthquakes. A new technique stands to improve weather models and hurricane forecasting by detecting precise conditions in the atmosphere through a new GPS system aboard airplanes.


A new GPS system aboard airplanes could improve weather models and hurricane forecasting by detecting precise conditions in the atmosphere. “GISMOS” (GNSS [Global Navigation Satellite System] Instrument System for Multistatic and Occultation Sensing) communicates with satellites to define details of the atmosphere.

Credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography

The first demonstration of the technique, reported this month in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters, is bringing the project’s leaders closer to a goal of broadly implementing the technology in the near future on commercial aircraft.

Current measurement systems that use GPS satellite signals as a source to probe the atmosphere rely on GPS receivers that are fixed to the ground and can’t measure over the ocean, or they rely on GPS receivers that are also on satellites that are expensive to launch and only occasionally measure in the regions near storms.

The new system, used by geophysicist Jennifer Haase of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., and her colleagues, captures detailed meteorological readings at different elevations in targeted areas of interest, such as where hurricanes might develop over the Atlantic Ocean.

“This field campaign demonstrated the potential for creating an entirely new operational atmospheric observing system for precise moisture profiling from commercial aircraft,” said Haase. “Having dense, detailed information about the vertical moisture distribution close to the storms is an important advancement, so if you put this information into a weather model it will actually have an impact and improve the forecast.”

“Satellite-based measurements are now regularly used for weather forecasting and have a big impact, but airplanes can go beyond satellites in making observations that are targeted right where you want them,” noted Eric DeWeaver, program director in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funded the research.

The paper details a 2010 flight campaign aboard NSF aircraft and subsequent data analysis that demonstrated for the first time that atmospheric information could be captured by an airborne GPS device. The instrumentation, which the scientists labeled “GISMOS” (GNSS [Global Navigation Satellite System] Instrument System for Multistatic and Occultation Sensing), increased the number of atmospheric profiles for studying the evolution of tropical storms by more than 50 percent.

“We’re looking at how moisture evolves so when we see tropical waves moving across the Atlantic, we can learn more about which one is going to turn into a hurricane,” said Haase. “So being able to look at what happens in these events at the early stages will give us a lot longer lead time for hurricane warnings.”

“This is another case where the effective use of GPS has the potential to improve the forecast and therefore save lives,” said Richard Anthes, president emeritus of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which currently runs the satellite based GPS measurement system called COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate).

While the current GISMOS design occupies a refrigerator’s worth of space, Haase and her colleagues are working to miniaturize the technology to shoe box size. From there, the system can more feasibly fit onto commercial aircraft, with hundreds of daily flights and a potential flood of new atmospheric data to greatly improve hurricane forecasting and weather models.

The technology also could improve interpretation of long-term climate models by advancing scientists’ understanding of factors such as the moisture conditions that favor hurricane development.

Title

“First results from an airborne GPS radio occultation system for atmospheric profiling”

Authors:
J. S. Haase: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA;

B. J. Murphy and P. Muradyan: Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA;

F. G. Nievinski: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Presidente Prudente, Brazil;

K. M. Larson: Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA;

J. L. Garrison and K.-N. Wang: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

Contact information for the authors:
Jennifer Haase, +1 (858) 534-8771, jhaase@ucsd.edu

AGU Contact:
Nanci Bompey
+1 (202) 777-7524
nbompey@agu.org

Scripps Contact:
Mario Aguilera or Robert Monroe
+1 (858) 534-3624
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu

Peter Weiss | American Geophysical Union
Further information:
http://news.agu.org/press-release/new-airborne-gps-technology-for-weather-conditions-takes-flight/

Further reports about: Atmospheric Engineering GPS Geophysical airborne moisture satellite storms

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Earth Day: Disease spread among species is predictable
24.04.2015 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Warming climate may release vast amounts of carbon from long-frozen Arctic soils
24.04.2015 | University of Georgia

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.

Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...

Im Focus: Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...

Im Focus: On the trail of a trace gas

Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.

In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL Energy Conference on May 11/12, 2015: Students Discuss about Decentralized Energy

23.04.2015 | Event News

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 | Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrons Move Like Light in Three-Dimensional Solid

24.04.2015 | Materials Sciences

Connecting Three Atomic Layers Puts Semiconducting Science on Its Edge

24.04.2015 | Materials Sciences

Understanding the Body’s Response to Worms and Allergies

24.04.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>