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Proceedings Paper

Potential satellite mission on atmospheric dynamics for severe weather forecasts (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Bing Lin; Qilong Min; Steven Harrah; Yongxiang Hu; Roland W. Lawrence

Paper Abstract

Surface air pressure is the most important atmospheric variable for atmospheric dynamics. It is regularly measured by in-situ meteorological sensors, and there are no operational capabilities that could remotely sense the pressure over the globe. The poor spatiotemporal coverage of this dynamically crucial variable is a significant observational gap in weather predictions. To improve forecasts of severe weather conditions, especially the intensity and track of tropical storms, large spatial coverage and frequent sampling of surface barometry are critically needed for numerical weather forecast models. Recent development in remote sensing techniques provides a great hope of atmospheric barometry in large spatiotemporal scales. Currently, NASA Langley Research Center tries to use the concept of Differential-absorption Barometric Radar (DiBAR) working at the 50-56 GHz O2 absorption bands to fill the observational gap. The numerical simulation shows that with this DiBAR remote sensing system, the uncertainty in instantaneous radar surface air pressure estimates can be as low as ~1 mb. Prototype instrumentation and its related laboratory, ground and airborne experiments indicate that satellite DiBAR remote sensing systems will obtain needed air pressure observations and meet or exceed the science requirements for surface air pressure fields. Observational system simulation experiments (OSSEs) for space DiBAR performance based on the existing DiBAR technology and capability show substantial improvements in tropical storm predictions, not only for the typhoon track and position but also for the typhoon intensity. Satellite DiBAR measurements will provide an unprecedented level of the prediction and knowledge on global extreme weather conditions. A space multi-frequency differential oxygen absorption radar system will fill the gap in the global observations of atmospheric air pressure, increase our knowledge in the dynamics, and significantly improve weather, especially severe weather such as typhoon and hurricane, predictions. Advanced tropical storm forecasts are expected with the studied capability. The development of the DiBAR system and associated OSSE results will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2019
Proc. SPIE 11151, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XXIII, 111510J (18 October 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2531710
Show Author Affiliations
Bing Lin, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Qilong Min, Univ. at Albany, The State Univ. of New York (United States)
Steven Harrah, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Yongxiang Hu, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Roland W. Lawrence, National Institute of Aerospace (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11151:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XXIII
Steven P. Neeck; Philippe Martimort; Toshiyoshi Kimura, Editor(s)

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