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AOSC Seminar
April 18, 2019

3D Winds: Observing the Dynaimcs of the Atmosphere in 3D from Space

Jim Carr
Carr Astronautics Corp

Observing winds from space is a very important application for meteorological satellites.  This talk will cover ongoing research being conducted with NASA and NOAA to apply techniques of stereo tracking to follow cloud and water vapor features as seen from space as they are transported in the wind.  When the same feature is tracked from two different vantage points, it is possible to measure both the height of the tracked feature and the wind velocity to resolve the vertical structure of the wind field.  The vertical structure is very important since wind velocity is strongly dependent on height above the ground.  When wind height assignments are inaccurate, wind fields measured from satellites are not useful for numerical weather forecasting.  Our research aims at improving the value of satellite wind fields to forecast models.  I will explain the theory behind our methods and show examples using low-earth and geostationary satellites.  These include the MISR and MODIS instruments on NASA’s Terra spacecraft and NOAA’s GOES satellite.  I will also describe some concepts for future 3D-Winds observing systems, including constellations of CubeSats.