Space


WEATHER

Weather satellites provide vital support to military operations both in peace and in war. The information from these satellites contributes to the conduct of military operations, allowing bombers to avoid bad weather, and enabling assault troops to take advantage of breaks in cloud cover.

The United States relies on both military and civilian weather satellites. The primary American military weather satellite system is the Air Force constellation of two Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP) satellites.(1) The fifth DMSP 5D-2 was launched on 1 December 1990. However, due to an upper stage malfunction, the spacecraft entered an orbit about 100 kilometers lower than planned, sharply reducing its operational utility.(2)

Weather satellites provided Desert Shield forces with sandstorm predictions, as well as information to predict the dispersal of chemical weapon clouds.(3) However, these capabilities were not adequate to predict strong winds and high seas which forced cancellation of a Marine Corps amphibious landing exercise in November 1990.(4)

These military satellites are supplemented by two similar satellites of the civilian National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which are an integral part of the military program.

A - Army

62784A Military Engineering Technology

Project AH71 - Atmospheric Investigations:(5)

This project supports work on realistically modeling atmospheric effects on target acquisition, mobility, lethality, and survivability to provide weather limitations for design and operation of smart weapons, improve war game realism and tactics and improve intelligence preparation of the battlefield. Develop weather decision aids for the commander by applying advanced computer techniques; incorporate new technology in meteorological sensor design; develop data fusion techniques to utilize data from advanced sensors in decision aids to enhance combat power on the battlefield. Develop precipitation area and rate estimation using data from meteorological satellites, integrate direct reception of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program downlink into the weather base station.

The research conducted in this Program Element provides technology in direct support of the critical Army combat engineer missions of mobility, counter-mobility survivability, sustainment engineering and topography needed to win on the modern battlefield. Research is also conducted that supports the special requirements for tactical decision aids, weather intelligence products and capabilities to exploit space assets. Key operational technologies developed are demonstrated to Army units under Program Element #0603734A, Military Engineering Advanced Technology. Results are tailored to support the materiel development, test and acquisition community in evaluating the impacts of weather, terrain and atmospheric obscurants. In addition, a portion of the program is directed towards developing technology for Echelons-Above-Corps and Army-in-garrison activities to vastly improve the efficiency of facility acquisition and operations (design, construction, operation and maintenance) thereby providing significant cost savings and improving military personnel productivity through better quality of life. The work in this program element is consistent with DoD Science and Technology Thrust Area for Precision Strike, the resource constrained Army Technology Base Master Plan and the Science and Technology Objectives (STOs) therein.

B- Navy

35111N Weather Service

W0523 Satellite Data Processing System(6)

This project develops systems and associated software to process and manage satellite remotely-sensed environmental data at Oceanography Centers ashore and on ships equipped with the AN/SMQ-11 satellite receiver-recorder afloat. Much of the software developed under this project is designed to allow effective use of the satellite data in computer-based global, regional, and tactical oceanographic and atmospheric analysis and prediction models. The project also supports code conversion, rehosting software from other sources, and modifications to the TESS(3) DBMS/MMI - Tactical Environmental Support System (TESS 3) Data Base Management System (DBMS) and Man-Machine Interface (MMI).

Work is performed by NRL-SSC, Stennis Space Center, MS.

35112N Oceanography(7)

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to Naval Oceanographic Office, Environmental Prediction Research Aircraft, oceanographic Survey Ships, Naval Observatory. Excludes support identified to other elements (see Mapping, Charting and Geodesy and Base operations elements in this program); and management headquarters resources included in PE 358980.

35160N Defense Meteorological Satellite Program DMSP/NROSS(8)

This project provides Navy participation in the joint service use Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). It funds Navy efforts associated with the special sensors located on the DMSP satellite. The current version of the DMSP satellite (Block 5D) is scheduled for a major upgrade (Block 6) circa 2005. Risk reduction studies for Block 6 are currently under way. During risk reduction the Navy will investigate various optional sensors to be added to the baseline Block 6 design in support of Navy warfare areas. These include Special Sensor Microwave/Imagers, Scatterometers and Altimeters, which are being evaluated through airborne oceanographic measurements and simulations. In addition, this project provides for Navy participation as voting member of the DMSP Configuration Control Board. This participation includes the review of Engineering Change Proposals, specification changes, waivers or any other technical matters which might have a significant impact on Navy users.

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to the DoD imagery and other specialized meteorological data from the entire earth to support special strategic and tactical missions; provides realtime direct readout of imagery to mobile terminals at key locations worldwide to support local tactical operations; end advances meteorological satellite technology to meet future DoD requirements. The JCS Statement of Requirements is used as a guide for system development. Two satellites are maintained in near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit continuously, one providing early morning and evening data, with the other providing noontime and midnight data.

Work is performed by NRL, Washington, DC and NSSA, Los Angeles, CA. Contractors include Hughes, Los Angeles, CA; Harris, Melbourne, FL; Aerojet, Azusa, CA; Lockheed, Sunnyvale, CA; Westinghouse, Baltimore, MD; and Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA.

63704N ASW Oceanography

Project R1596 Satellite Oceanographic Tactical Applications(9)

This project develops concepts and software techniques for integration and subsequent application of tactically significant ocean and atmospheric data derived from satellite-borne sensors. Included are techniques and algorithms for the processing of sensor suite measurements, the conversion of raw signal data to geophysical information, analysis schemes for satellite data applications, and field validation of the products. Software is developed for use at Oceanographic Centers ashore and for the Tactical Environmental Support System (TESS 3) afloat. The exploitation of emerging new data sources such as scatterometer and synthetic aperture radars also form an important part of this project. Wherever possible, Expert System and Artificial Intelligence/neural network techniques are incorporated into satellite data processing software and in algorithms to assist in image analysis.

Work is performed by NRL-SSC, Stennis Space Center, MS, and NRL, Washington, DC.

64218N Air/Ocean Equipment Engineering(10)

This project provides for the engineering development of sensors, communication interfaces, and processing and display equipment to measure, ingest, store, distribute and display atmospheric and oceanographic parameters essential to the optimum employment of naval warfare systems. Major emphasis areas include tactical work stations, the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), the Marine Corps Meteorological Mobile Facility (MCTMF), the AN/SMQ-11 satellite receiver/recorder and other satellite ground equipment. This project developed data connectivity between Naval Oceanography Command primary production centers and fleet oceanography centers. Other activities include weather radars and the engineering development of new sensors such as active and passive atmospheric profilers for incorporation into the Shipboard Meteorological and Oceanographic Observing System (SMOOS), which will be developed and digitally interfaced with the Tactical Environmental Support System (TESS 3) aboard major combatant ships.

Work is performed by NRL-SSC, Stennis Space Center, MS; NAVELEXCEN, Vallejo, CA, and NAWCAD, Indianapolis, IN. Lockheed, Austin, TX is the principal contractor.

64230N Warfare Support Systems - TESS(11)

This project develops the Navy's Tactical Environmental Support System (TESS 3), a computer-based tactical shore and shipboard capability used to predict and assess the impact of the atmospheric and oceanographic environment on the performance of weapon and sensor systems. Data will be ingested from atmospheric and oceanographic remote sensing satellites, regional oceanographic centers, World Meteorological Organization civilian reporting broadcasts, local observations, and data bases. Through command and control interfaces, the Battle Group commander will merge atmospheric and oceanographic information with other essential intelligence for optimum employment of available platforms, sensors and weapons.

Work is performed by NRL-SSC, Stennis Space Center, MS and NAVELEXCEN, Vallejo, CA. Lockheed, Austin, TX is the principal contractor.

C - Air Force

35111F Weather Service(12)

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically Identified and measurable to Headquarters, Air Weather Service, Weather Wings, Weather Squadrons, Weather Reconnaissance Wing, Weather Reconnaissance Squadrons, Weather Detachments, Weather observing and Forecasting System Program office (433L), Commander, Air Force Global Weather Central (AFGWC), USAF Environmental Technical Application Center (USAFETAC). Excludes communications support (see Weather Service-Communications element in this program); base and mission support (see Base apparitions element in this program); training (see Training element in this program), all Defense Communications System (DCS) and non-DCS Communications resources; and management headquarter resources in 35898F.

35160F Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)(13)

The DMSP is a fully operational Joint-Service meteorological satellite program which supports all military services. Operational commanders require timely, quality weather information to effectively employ weapon systems and protect DOD resources. DMSP is the DOD's most important single source of global weather data. It provides visible and infrared cloud cover imagery (1/3 nm constant resolution) and other meteorological, oceanographic, and solar geophysical information. These data are required over the entire earth in support of strategic and tactical operations. At least 2 satellites are required in sun synchronous 450 nm polar orbit at all times. (Sun synchronous means the satellites cross the equator at the same local sun time on each of their 14 orbits/day). This program includes the spacecraft and sensors, ground command, control and communications (C3) facilities and personnel; Air Force strategic, fixed, and transportable, tactical data receipt and processing terminals; and operations and maintenance. (Through the decade DMSP will gradually transition from Block SD production to Block 6 development. This long lead the for satellite system development and production will allow significant risk reduction. Thus, Block 6 development will proceed in parallel with the current Block 5D efforts.) DMSP will launch on Atlas-E launch vehicles through FY 1993, then transition to Titan II.

Development and procurement are managed by AFMC's Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB CA. Major contractors include: General Electric, Astro Space Division, East Windsor NJ (spacecraft, and satellite integration); Westinghouse Electric Corp, Baltimore MD (primary cloud imaging sensor); Aerojet Electro-system, Azuza CA (microwave sounders and imagers); Harris Corp, Melbourne FL (ground systems); and Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, Austin, TX (Mark IVB).

DMSP is a Joint-Service program in accordance with the MOA. The Air Force is the Executive Agent with responsibility for the Space, C3, and Air Force Use Segments. Each Service funds its own User Segment and any Service unique changes to other segments. Close coordination is maintained with the civilian weather satellite programs of the DOC. The DOD and DOC systems have different missions and sensors Interchange of technology and joint efforts have been continuous, with special emphasis on spacecraft bus commonality and avoiding duplication of effort. Efforts are underway to assess feasibility of consolidating DOD/NASA and DOC requirements as part of the Block 6 effort.

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to the DoD imagery and other specialized meteorological data from the entire earth to support special strategic and tactical missions; provides realtime direct readout of imagery to mobile terminals at key locations worldwide to support local tactical operations; end advances meteorological satellite technology to meet future DoD requirements. The JCS Statement of Requirements is used as a guide for system development. Two satellites are maintained in near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit continuously, one providing early morning and evening data, with the other providing noontime and midnight data. Excludes communications support for the DMSP; and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program communications (PE 35126F).(14)

35162F DMSP Communications(15)

Includes communications costs utilized in direct support of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (PE 35160F). Excludes personnel.

61102F Defense Research Sciences

Project 2311, Space-Sciences(16)

This Science and Technology program, managed by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), supports Air Force research efforts comprised of in-house investigations in Air Force laboratories and extramural activities in academia and industry. The program element funds broad-based scientific and engineering basic research in technologies critical to the Air Force mission and in the search for future critical technologies. These technologies include aerospace structures, aerodynamics, materials, propulsion, power, electronics, computer science, directed energy, conventional weapons, life sciences, and terrestrial, atmospheric, and space sciences.

Project 2311, Space-Sciences: The objective of this project (title previously changed from "Astronomy and Astrophysics" but with no content change) is to provide basic knowledge of the space environment (mostly solar events) for the design and calibration of advanced Air Force systems. The project also supports the Air Weather Service (AWS) by improving observing and forecasting techniques that support operational military systems. Theoretical and empirical descriptions of the electrodynamics of the solar atmosphere and magnetosphere, which are critical elements of future AWS prediction models and radiation belt codes, are being investigated.

Phillips Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM, conducts research under this project. The top contractors or universities are: Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA; University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY; Columbia University, New York, NY; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; and Yale University, New Haven, CT.

64707F Weather Systems (Engineering Development)(17)

This Program Element provides engineering development of weather systems that will eliminate critical shortfalls in weather support lo Air Force and Army operations. Efforts include: (a) Automated Weather Distribution System (AWDS): automates most weather data handling tasks within Army and Air Force weather stations. AWDS Preplanned Product Improvement (P3I) will enhance interoperability between AWDS, command and control (C2) systems, and processing facilities. P3I will also develop the capability to import meteorological satellite and weather radar data into AWDS. (b) Battlefield Weather Observation and Forecast System (BWOFS): develops an interactive weather data base for input into Electro-Optical Tactical Decision Aids (EOTDAs). EOTDAs provide commanders critical environmental forecasts for precision-guided munitions employment decisions. (c) Solar Electro-Optical Network Upgrade (SEON II): develops upgraded solar radio and optical capabilities to detect and forecast solar activity which could impact DOD systems. (d) Combat Weather System (CWS): combines the functionalities of AWDS and BWOFS with automated battlefield weather observations to produce tailored in-theater weather forecasts.

AWDS, BWOFS, SEON n, and CWS development are managed by Electronic Systems Center (ESC), Hanscom AFB, MA. The AWDS contractor is GTE/Contel Corporation, Westlake Village, CA who will produce/field AWDS units and provide ten years of contractor logistics support. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is the contractor for BWOFS, developing the interactive weather database and integrating the EOTDA software onto theater command and control systems. The initial CWSFS prototype efforts use the ESC Portable Reusable Integration Software Modules (PRISM) contract (Raytheon and Hughes teamed effort). The CWS Integration/Production contract will be awarded in FY 95. SEON II will award a sole source contact to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for building the radio solar telescope prototype.

D - National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration

Satellite Services (1/3 NOAA Polar)

Although the American military is a major user of data from the civilian low altitude weather satellites of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Air Force also maintains a constellation of two Defense Meteorological Support Program (DMSP) satellites. The DMSP spacecraft are very similar to their civilian NOAA counterparts, and are manufactured by the same contractor using many common subsystems.

Polar Spacecraft & Launching

This budget element provides for acquisition and launch of NOAA polar weather satellites.

Polar Ground Systems

This budget element provides for ground systems supporting operation of NOAA polar weather satellites.

References

1. NATO AGARD (Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development), Tactical Applications of Space Systems, Avionics Panel Symposium 16-19 October 1989, (AGARD-CP-460, NTIS N90-27438), contains several papers that provide an unusually insightful discussion of the operational utility of this system.

2. "DMSP Misses Intended Mark," Space News, 17 December 1990, page 2.

3. Kiernan, Vincent, "DMSP Satellite Launched to Aid Troops in Middle East," Space News, 10 December 1990, page 6.

4. Walker, Christopher, "Doubts Over Armour And Desert Isolation Sap Morale of Troops," London Times, 21 November 1990, page 12.

5. Department of the Army, Supporting Data Amended FY 1992 / FY 1993 Biennial Budget Estimate, Descriptive Summaries of the Research, Development, Test & Evaluation Army Appropriation, January 1992, page 186.

6. Department of the Navy, Amended FY 1992 / FY 1993 Biennial Budget Estimates, RDT&E Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy, January 1992, page 161.

7. 7 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), The Five Year Defense Program; Book 1 FYDP Program Structure, DoD 7045.7-H, August 1984, page 3-31.

8. Department of the Navy, Amended FY 1992 / FY 1993 Biennial Budget Estimates, RDT&E Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy, January 1992, page 163.

9. Department of the Navy, Amended FY 1992 / FY 1993 Biennial Budget Estimates, RDT&E Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy, January 1992, page 425.

10. Department of the Navy, Amended FY 1992 / FY 1993 Biennial Budget Estimates, RDT&E Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy, January 1992, page 541.

11. Department of the Navy, Amended FY 1992 / FY 1993 Biennial Budget Estimates, RDT&E Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy, January 1992, page 553.

12. 12 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), The Five Year Defense Program; Book 1 FYDP Program Structure, DoD 7045.7-H, August 1984, page 3-31.

13. Department of the Air Force, Supporting Data for Fiscal Year 1994, Budget Estimate Submission: Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, April 1993, page 156.

14. 14 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), The Five Year Defense Program; Book 1 FYDP Program Structure, DoD 7045.7-H, August 1984, page 3-39.

15. 15 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), The Five Year Defense Program; Book 1 FYDP Program Structure, DoD 7045.7-H, August 1984, page 3-39.

16. Department of the Air Force, Supporting Data for Fiscal Year 1994, Budget Estimate Submission: Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, April 1993, page 102.

17. Department of the Air Force, Supporting Data for Fiscal Year 1994, Budget Estimate Submission: Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, April 1993, page 622.

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