Airspace system demand is expected to increase as much as 300 percent by the year 2025 and the Next Generation Air
Transportation System (NextGen) is being developed to accommodate the super-density operations that this will entail.
Concomitantly, significant improvements in observations and forecasting are being undertaken to support NextGen
which will require greatly improved and more uniformly applied data for aviation weather hazards and constraints which
typically comprise storm-scale and microscale observables. Various phenomena are associated with these hazards and
constraints such as convective weather, in-flight icing, turbulence, and volcanic ash as well as more mundane aviation
parameters such as cloud tops and bases and fuel-freeze temperatures at various flight levels. Emerging problems for
aviation in space weather and the environmental impacts of aviation are also occurring at these scales. Until recently, the
threshold and objective observational requirements for these observables had not been comprehensively documented in a
single, authoritative source. Scientists at NASA and NOAA have recently completed this task and have established
baseline observational requirements for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and expanded and
updated the NOAA Consolidated Observations Requirements List (CORL) for Aviation (CT-AWX) to better inform
National Weather Service investments for current and future observing systems. This paper describes the process and
results of this effort. These comprehensive aviation observation requirements will now be used to conduct gap analyses
for the aviation component of the Integrated Earth Observing System and to inform the investment strategies of the
FAA, NASA, and NOAA that are needed to develop the observational architecture to support NextGen and other users
of storm and microscale observations.
Imagers on many of the current and future operational meteorological satellites in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) and lower Earth orbit (LEO) have enough spectral channels to derive cloud microphysical properties useful for a variety of applications. The products include cloud amount, phase, optical depth, temperature, height and pressure, thickness, effective particle size, and ice or liquid water path, shortwave albedo, and outgoing longwave radiation for each imager pixel. Because aircraft icing depends on cloud temperature, droplet size, and liquid water content as well as aircraft variables, it is possible to estimate the potential icing conditions from the cloud phase, temperature, effective droplet size, and liquid water path. A prototype icing index is currently being derived over the contiguous USA in near-real time from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-10 and 12) data on a half-hourly basis and from NOAA-16 Advanced Very High Resolution (AVHRR) data when available. Because the threshold-based algorithm is sensitive to small errors and differences in satellite imager and icing is complex process, a new probability based icing diagnosis technique is developed from a limited set of pilot reports. The algorithm produces reasonable patterns of icing probability and intensities when compared with independent model and pilot report data. Methods are discussed for improving the technique for incorporation into operational icing products.
Conference Committee Involvement (1)
Remote Sensing Applications for Aviation Weather Hazard Detection and Decision Support
13 August 2008 | San Diego, California, United States