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Proceedings Paper

Remote detection and diagnosis of thunderstorm turbulence
Author(s): John K. Williams; Robert Sharman; Jason Craig; Gary Blackburn
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes how operational radar, satellite and lightning data may be used in conjunction with numerical weather model data to provide remote detection and diagnosis of atmospheric turbulence in and around thunderstorms. In-cloud turbulence is measured with the NEXRAD Turbulence Detection Algorithm (NTDA) using extensively qualitycontrolled, ground-based Doppler radar data. A real-time demonstration of the NTDA includes generation of a 3-D turbulence mosaic covering the CONUS east of the Rocky Mountains, a web-based display, and experimental uplinks of turbulence maps to en-route commercial aircraft. Near-cloud turbulence is inferred from thunderstorm morphology, intensity, growth rate and environment data provided by (1) satellite radiance measurements, rates of change, winds, and other derived features, (2) lightning strike measurements, (3) radar reflectivity measurements and (4) weather model data. These are combined via a machine learning technique trained using a database of in situ turbulence measurements from commercial aircraft to create a predictive model. This new capability is being developed under FAA and NASA funding to enhance current U.S. and international turbulence decision support systems, allowing rapid-update, highresolution, comprehensive assessments of atmospheric turbulence hazards for use by pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers. It will also contribute to the comprehensive 4-D weather information database for NextGen.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7088, Remote Sensing Applications for Aviation Weather Hazard Detection and Decision Support, 708804 (25 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.795570
Show Author Affiliations
John K. Williams, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)
Robert Sharman, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)
Jason Craig, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)
Gary Blackburn, National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7088:
Remote Sensing Applications for Aviation Weather Hazard Detection and Decision Support
Wayne F. Feltz; John J. Murray, Editor(s)

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