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METEOROLOGICAL SUPPORT FOR SPACE OPERATIONS: REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS Panel on Meteorological Support for Space Operations Board on Atmospheric Sciences add Climate Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Contract Number NASW-4272. Cover from a photo courtly of NASA. Available from the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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PANEL ON METEOROLOGICAL SUPPORT FOR SPACE OPERATIONS Charles L. Hosler, Pennsylvania State University, Chairman Gregory S. Forbes, Pennsylvania State University Joseph B. Klemp, National Center for Atmospheric Research E. Philip Krider, University of Arizona John A. McGinley, National Oceanic ant! Atmospheric Acim~nistration Peter S. Ray, Florida State University Leonard W. SnelIman, University of Utah John S. Perry, Staff Director E red D. White, Staff Officer - ~ 111

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BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CID\IATE Richard A. Anthes, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Chairman James G. Anderson, Harvard University Kirk Bryan, Princeton University Ralph J. Cicerone, National Center for Atmospheric Research Alexander J. Dessler, Rice University John A. Dutton, Pennsylvania State University John Gerber, Biotechnology Institute Michael H. Glantz, National Center for Atmospheric Research Thomas E. Graedel, AT&T Bell Laboratories John B. Hovermale, Naval Environmental Prediction Research Facility Richard G. Johnson, private consultant T. N. Krishnamurti, Florida State University John E. Kutzbach, University of Wisconsin-Madison Julia Nogues-Paegle, University of Utah CIaes H. Rooth, University of Miami Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research John S. Perry, Staff Director Kenneth Bergman, Staff Officer Fred D. White, Staff Officer 1V

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COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND RESOURCES Norman Hackerman, Robert A. Welch Foundation, Chairman George F. Carrier, Harvard University Dean E. Eastman, IBM Corporation Marye Anne Fox, University of Texas Gerhart Friediander, Brookhaven National Laboratory Lawrence W. E`unkhouser, Chevron Corporation (retired) Phillip A. Griffiths, Duke University J. Ross Macdonald, University of North Carolina, Chap e! Hill Charles J. Mankin, Oklahoma Geological Surrey Perry L. McCarty, Stanford University Jack E. Oliver, Cornell University Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Princeton University Observatory William D. Phillips, MallinckroUt, Inc. Denis J. Prager, MacArthur Foundation David M. Raup, University of Chicago Richard J. Reed, University of Washington Robert E. Sievers, University of Colorado Larry 1.. Smarr, National Center for Supercomputing Applications Edward C. Stone, Jr., California Institute of Technology Karl K. Turekian, Yale University George W. Wetherill, Carnegie Institution of Washington Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Corporation Raphael G. Kasper, Executive Director Lawrence E. McCray, Associate Executive Director v

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Preface In response to a request from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Research Council (NRC) as- sembled a pane! to review the meteorological support related to space operations at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). A copy of the ini- tial NASA request is included in Appendix A. Specifically, the panel was requested to review the requirements for meteorological informa- tion at KSC and to prepare recommendations for NASA regarding the feasibility, development, and unplementation of a meteorologi- cal facility at KSC that would (1) improve the quality, utility, and reliability of meteorological information for planning and operations and (2) provide a facility at which atmospheric scientists may pursue short-term weather research to improve KSC operations. In negotiations between NASA and the NRC, the scope of the task was broadened slightly. It was agreed that the pane! would "re- view the state of scientific understanding of meteorological factors relevant to space operations at KSC, including existing observa- tion and forecast systems and the utilization of meteorological infor- mation in decision making, identify potential improvements to the present system at KSC in terms of NASA requirements, and make specific recommendations for the development and implementation - V11

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of improved systems to Caress NASA's research and operational goals." * This study is timely in that it follows the Space Shuttle Chal- [enger explosion on January 28, 1986, and the lightning-related de- struction of the Atias-Centaur 67 rocket on March 26, 1987. With recent advancements in ways to probe the atmosphere and the development of new avenues for processing, communicating, and interpreting meteorological information, much-improved meteo- rological support for space operations should be possible. This report reviews NASA's present program of meteorological support for space operations and offers suggestions for improvements. The pane! visited a number of sites during its study. In the period from August 31 to September 2, 1987, the pane! visited the Kennedy Space Center; on October 30, interviews were conducted at NASA headquarters; and from December 1 to 3, 1987, the pane! visited Johnson Space Center. Other meetings of the pane! focused on the preparation of this report. A list of the persons who made presentations to the pane} or were interviewed by the pane! is included in Appendix B. Although the study has been conducted for NASA, the pane! has recognized that the report is likely to be read not only by NASA ad- ministrators and meteorological support personnel, but also by many other people with varying familiarity with the space program. Even among those working within the space program, there are varying degrees of familiarity with meteorological support operations. For this reason, the pane! felt it would be useful to include a consider- able amount of background information to provide an overview of the nature of meteorological support for space operations and the organizational environment in which it exists. The Executive Summary reviews the principal conclusions and recommendations of the panel. Chapter 1 outlines the weather el- ements that are important for space operations and the manner in which they are critical. Chapter 2 contains an overview of the orga- nizational structure of the weather support activities for the space program. Chapter 3 reviews the observational systerrls, and Chapter 4 suggests some possible technological upgrades for meteorological analysis and forecasting operations in support of space operations. panel. *From the proposal written in response to NASA's request for the NRC -

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Chapter 5 outlines an organizational framework that the pane! be- lieves is needed to foster a vigorous and vital meteorological program in support of both manned and unmanned space flight ~ would like to thank the members of the pane] for their consci- entious attention to our deliberations. Each member attended ah of the pane] meetings and contributed significantly in the preparation of the text. ~ would like to acknowledge the role of Gregory S. Forbes, who assembled and reassembled the many drafts of the report. In ad- dition, special thanks go to Karen Poniatowski and Arlene Peterson of the NASA Office of Space Flight for their assistance. Charles L. Hosler, Chairman Pane! on Meteorological Support for Space Operations ax

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