The Waypoint Planning Tool (WPT) gathers and organizes data from several sources so scientists can plan and coordinate flights by research aircraft around and through the emerging hurricanes and tropical storms they want to study.
WPT also tracks the orbits of weather research satellites, so aircraft flights can be timed to go through a hurricane or tropical storm at the same time a satellite passes overhead, "so you can compare what you see from the aircraft to what the satellite is sensing," said Dr. Matt He, a research scientist in UAHuntsville's Information Technology and Systems Center (ITSC). He developed and programmed the WPT.
WPT got its first operational use earlier this month as part NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification (GRIP) program, a six-week NASA research campaign that will use three research aircraft to study the inner workings of how hurricanes form and intensify. Several atmospheric scientists at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have instrument packages on the aircraft.
"We want to increase the accuracy, to let them know exactly where the hurricane is now and where it should be when the aircraft arrives," He said. WPT does all of this in near real time so scientists and mission planners can adapt the flight plan if situations change.
In addition to getting the aircraft to the storm, WPT also helps guide them through the hurricane or storm in the specific pattern or flight plan needed to gather the needed data. It can also pinpoint spots for releasing instrument packages called "drop-sondes."
WPT is one piece in a suite of interactive web-based programs UAHuntsville scientists, engineers and students are helping to develop in collaboration with NASA for GRIP. The interactive Real-Time Mission Monitor uses a Google Earth format to show regional weather systems and aircraft tracks as they happen.
The GRIP website (grip.nsstc.nasa.gov), which is managed through UAHuntsville's ITSC, includes collaboration portals where different groups of project and instrument scientists, forecasters, mission planners and managers can share weather forecasts, flight plan details, real-time or near real-time mission reports and “quick look” samples of data as it is collected.
"The idea is to have one web portal with all the information you need to coordinate the project," said Helen Conover, also a UAHuntsville research scientist. "We have been working with NASA's hurricane research group since 1998 and this is the most interactive project coordination tool that we have developed."
NASA's GRIP program is one of three concurrent federal hurricane research campaigns this year. NASA is collaborating with complementary research programs organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.
Ray Garner | Newswise Science News
Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy