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Proceedings Paper

UK met office capabilities in defense meteorology, oceanography and tactical decision aids (Neon and MONIM)
Author(s): Gerald Wong; Francis Colledge; Stephan Havemann; Warren Lewis
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Paper Abstract

Typically referred to as brownout or whiteout, degraded visual environments (DVE) more accurately includes all forms of materially reduced visibility where pilots and operators may become disorientated. These conditions include very low night illumination levels, adverse meteorological conditions (clouds and precipitation) and obscurant particulates (dust storms and sea spray), which can all reduce photopic and thermal target contrasts with respect to their background environment. DVE operations are a significant and persistent safety concern for autonomous or piloted platforms at all points of their mission cycle including launch, transit, execution, egress and recovery. Impacted platforms of all sizes can include aircraft (from drones to hybrid airships), ground vehicles and maritime vessels (surface or submerged). This paper seeks to highlight the capabilities of the Met Office over both land and sea in accurately forecasting the presence of DVE through Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP). These forecasts can then be furthermore leveraged with Met Office expertise in environmental impacts to predict the likely effects on sensor acquisition ranges. These sensor impacts are robustly modelled through Tactical Decision Aids (TDAs) that can take account of platform range, elevation, sensor waveband, target characteristics and background environment, in addition to many other pertinent parameters. The Met Office is the United Kingdom’s National Meteorological Service (NMS) tasked to provide weather information and weather related warnings. Within the realm of defence engagement, the Met Office has provided key elements of geospatial intelligence capability for multinational operations worldwide for over a century. The Met Office supports its defence stakeholders, such as NATO and the USAF, by assimilating over 10 million daily global observations into its Unified Model (UM) for Numerical Weather Predication (NWP). The UM provides the input for the Havemann-Taylor Fast Radiative Transfer Code (HT-FRTC) to predict atmospheric impacts on sensor performance within the context of Tactical Decision Aids (TDAs), such as Neon for thermal contrast and MONIM for night illumination levels. This global UM forecast data, with high temporal-spatial resolution regional sub-models, enables further environmental impact prediction for atmospheric dispersion events such as volcanic ash and radiological incidents through the NAME capability (Numerical Atmospheric-dispersion Modelling Environment). In addition to capabilities in Space Weather, the Met Office also specializes in operational ocean monitoring and forecasting services to support safe operations in the marine environment, but have also evolved to cater for, amongst others, marine security, commercial operations, licensing for marine operations and environmental monitoring.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10197, Degraded Environments: Sensing, Processing, and Display 2017, 101970F (5 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2261950
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald Wong, Met Office (United Kingdom)
Francis Colledge, Met Office (United Kingdom)
Stephan Havemann, Met Office (United Kingdom)
Warren Lewis, Met Office (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10197:
Degraded Environments: Sensing, Processing, and Display 2017
John (Jack) N. Sanders-Reed; Jarvis (Trey) J. Arthur III, Editor(s)

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