Weather Satellite Data in FAA Operations Randy Bass Aviation Weather Research Program Aviation Weather Division NextGen Organization Federal Aviation Administration

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  • Weather Satellite Data in FAA Operations Randy Bass Aviation Weather Research Program Aviation Weather Division NextGen Organization Federal Aviation Administration 1 May 2015
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  • Federal Aviation Administration 2 FAA Mission: Provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen): National Airspace System (NAS) being implemented across the United States by the FAA NextGen transforms Americas air traffic control system from a ground- based system to a satellite-based system Satellite-enabled technology is used to shorten routes, save time and fuel, reduce traffic delays, increase capacity, and permit controllers to monitor and manage aircraft with greater safety margins A major component of NextGen is improved weather support Stovepiped systems consolidated into a single national weather information system, updated in real time Common weather picture across the NAS to enable better air transportation decision making Timely, accurate weather information is critical in operational decision-making for pilots, controllers, flight operators, and airport operators
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  • Aviation Weather Division 3 The FAAs Aviation Weather Division (AWD) supports weather- dependent Operational Improvements and Operational Sustainment integration in the NAS by leading shortfall analyses, concept and requirement definition, enterprise system engineering, and solution prototyping and evaluation Aligns and manages the weather research portfolio toward new concepts/capabilities that reduce the impact of weather in the NAS Represents U.S. MET Authority on International coordination/harmonization activity Assures development and integration of productive weather information into Air Traffic Management (ATM) decisions by pilots, controllers, flight operators, and airport operators through orchestration of: Better quality weather information Better access to weather information Better utilization of weather information
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  • Aviation Weather Research Program 4 The Aviation Weather Research Program, as part of AWD, conducts research to assure development and integration of weather information into ATM decisions to support NextGen initiatives Applied research to minimize the impact of weather on the NAS Specific initiatives to support NextGen weather Operational Improvements contained in the NextGen Implementation Plans Collaborative, complimentary initiatives with NWS to transition legacy capabilities to meet NextGen and evolving requirements Focused initiatives to help mitigate safety and/or efficiency issues associated with well documented weather problems
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  • Delays Due to Weather 5 Airline delays in the National Airspace System (NAS) due to weather have steadily decreased over the last 5 years but still constitute the majority of all delays. Over 192,000 weather delays occurred last year. SOURCE: Federal Aviation Administration OPSNET
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  • NOAA satellites provide advanced weather information to enable collaborative planning and efficient utilization of airspace routes through the entire flight Cloud Classification, Lightning, Convective Initiation, Cloud & Moisture Imagery, Low Ceiling & Visibility (Aerosols, clouds, dust), Overshooting Tops, Precipitation, Snow Cloud Classification, Jet Stream, Volcanic Ash, Turbulence, Icing, Winds, Convective Initiation, Mountain Waves, Cloud & Moisture Imagery, Cloud Top Information Cloud Classification, Lightning, Convective Initiation, Low Ceiling & Visibility, Overshooting Tops, Icing, Precipitation, Snow Nowcasting, Convective Initiation, Hazards, Numerical Weather Prediction Forecasts (winds, precipitation, clouds, pressure, etc.)
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  • Thunderstorms and Convection
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  • Ceiling and Visibility Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) probabilities over Chicago OHare detected by satellite
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  • Icing GOES data provides improved resolution of icing conditions Aviation Weather Center Advisories Icing conditions not always captured with traditional methods
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  • Volcanic Support Ash Detection product (left) and Ash Loading (right) using the GOES-R Volcanic Ash Algorithm applied to Meteosat- 9/SEVIRI data 1 (From Mike Pavolonis, NESDIS/STAR, and Justin Sieglaff, CIMSS) 2010 Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption Satellite imagery is the primary source for detection of volcanic eruptions and tracking of ash plumes around the world.
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  • Alaska Cloud cover or fog and observed visibilities for Alaska using satellite imagery experimental product Polar satellite (POES) image valid at 15:17 local time on Saturday, 4 Apr 2015
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  • Offshore Precipitation Capability 12 10-14-2014 UTC A prototype in development by the FAA that merges satellite imagery from GOES, lightning data, and NWP model data to create an estimate of precipitation offshore in a real-time capacity, which is merged seamlessly with NEXRAD data. Hurricane Gonzalo
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  • Aviation Weather Challenges 13 Tactical versus strategic applications Towers, Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities, Air Route Traffic Control Centers, the Air Traffic Control System Command Center, and airlines all have different weather needs at different timelines One size does not fit all Bandwidth issues Amount of data possible from GOES-R, new numerical weather prediction models and other sources may overwhelm current communication circuits Weather Uncertainty How to integrate uncertainty inherent in weather into decision support tools for operations; probabilistic versus deterministic outputs Weather solution independent: any new technology acquired by the FAA should be able to utilize data output from any provider, especially NWS, to include satellite data