HRD/NHC CHART Seminar – Jason Dunion, CIMAS and AOML/HRD – 18 May 2015

Jason Dunion presented a seminar on “NOAA Shout-Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology- Plans for the Global Hawk UAS – Unmanned Aircraft Systems – during the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season” which is available on the NHC science presentation web site or at:


A three-year joint experiment between NOAA and NASA, called Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology, or SHOUT, will study whether the Global Hawk observations help improve weather forecasting of storms at sea as well as what the cost of Global Hawk operations would be for NOAA. Scientists started the experiment by using computer simulations of Global Hawk data for testing. Next, they will collect actual Global Hawk observations by flying over oceanic storms.  

The first flight by the NASA Global Hawk in the experiment will take off during hurricane season 2015 over the Atlantic Ocean.  In flights of up to 26 hours, the Global Hawk can gather continuous weather data on wind, temperature, and humidity from an altitude of approximately 60,000 feet above the Earth’s surface, more than 15,000 feet higher than most manned airplanes operate. This data and simulated data will be assimilated into forecast models to evaluate whether it substantially improves the accuracy of severe weather forecasts.

The team working on the experiment includes scientists from across NOAA, including its Unmanned Aircraft System Program, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab/Hurricane Research Division, Earth Systems Research Lab, and NOAA Cooperative Institute (CI) for Marine and Atmospheric StudiesNOAA Corps officers with the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations will remotely operate the NASA Global Hawk. NOAA’s Weather Service and Satellite Service are part of the team evaluating the feasibility and cost of using unmanned systems in NOAA National Weather Service operations. NASA scientists and personnel will also participate and contribute their Global Hawks.

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