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Air Force, NASA Fund Research to Improve Wind Predictions at Space Launch Complexes

Corey Amiot, a graduate student from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, currently explores methods to improve forecasts of high wind events at Florida-based space launch facilities as part of a research project funded by NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron provided funds to support Amiot’s efforts to optimize lead times for high wind warnings and help lessen false alarms, UAH said Thursday.

Currently, launch complexes issue warnings when wind speed exceeds 35 knots to mitigate hazards facing personnel and hardware.

UAH said Amiot used data from 45WS’ dual-polarization C-band weather radar and 29 weather stations to detect patterns and potential signatures of changes in 14 thunderstorms.

He identified four distinct radar signatures in 85 to 92 percent of the 14 storms.

Amiot said he needs to expand the sample size of the research to detect more radar signatures.

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