Ocean Observations

Targeted observations from aircraft in oceanic regions could significantly improve how well weather models forecast significant events such as (1) tropical storms, (2) winter storms and (3) major floods. The long duration and large oceanic areas that can be observed using advanced UxSRTO such as the Global Hawk make this UxSRTO a potentially important observing platform, for environmental assessment and forecasting.

Mission Description

The NOAA UxSRTO Program has designed a project focused on sensing high impact weather-related hazards called “Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT)”. The project to sense high impact weather hazards will

  • Partner with NASA to conduct missions for operational prototype data collection
  • Be utilized for both observing and predicting high impact oceanic weather
  • Determine the utility of UxSRTO data in prediction of dangerous storms that can affect the United States
  • Quantify the influence of UxSRTO environmental data to high impact weather prediction
  • Determine best observing strategies
  • Assess the operational effectiveness of UxSRTO to mitigate the satellite data gap
  • Begin with a targeted observing effort using NASA Global Hawk platforms and payloads
  • As the project matures, consider other viable unmanned observing technologies may be incorporated into the observing strategies as operational prototypes

People of interest — Management Team

Principal Investigator • Philip Hall, NOAA UxSRTO Program Director
Project Managers • Philip Kenul, TriVector Services • JC Coffey, Cherokee Nation Technologies
Project Scientists • Michael Black, NOAA OAR AOML • Gary Wick, NOAA OAR ESRL • Jason Dunion, NOAA OAR AOML HRD

Contact information for Team members


Instrument package payloads to be used on the SHOUT missions

  • NOAA: AVAPSAdvanced Vertical Atmospheric Profiling System developed by NCAR, dozens of dropsondes for deployment at altitudes up to 65,000 ft from the unmanned Global Hawk aircraft collect high vertical resolution measurements of the temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction in the atmosphere
  • NASA: HIWRAPHigh-Altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler, radar designed to examine the factors of storm intensity: formation, structure and intensification
  • NASA JPL: HAMSRHigh Altitude MMIC Sounding Radiometer an atmospheric sounder intended for aircraft deployment is a microwave temperature and humidity sounder instrument that looks at the microwave spectrum and was designed and built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • NASA GHRC: LIPCAMEX-4 ER-2 Lightning Instrument Package consists of eight state of the art digital electric field mills and a dual-tube Gerdien conductivity probe; These field mills allow the determination of the vector components of the electric field to improve our knowledge of the electrical structure