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NASA's Applied Meteorology Unit

Three Columns

The Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) is a tri-agency cooperative effort for transitioning new techniques from the research arena to improve operational weather forecasting and analysis in support of the National space program.

It is operated by ENSCO, Inc. under contract to NASA and is co-located with the 45th Weather Squadron at Range Weather Operations (RWO) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The AMU supports RWO forecasters who provide weather support for expendable vehicle ground processing and launches and the National Weather Service Office in Melbourne, Florida that provides daily regional forecasts.

The AMU has recent experience in mesoscale model verification, development of statistical forecast tools and analysis of observational data from rawinsondes, wind sensors, radar and lightning detection systems. The quarterly reports highlight the current work performed by the AMU.

MISSION 

The AMU develops, evaluates and transitions technology to operations for weather support to America's space program.

VALUES 

Excellence, integrity and responsiveness to customers.

THE TEAM 

The AMU team evaluates research conducted at universities, public and private laboratories, and the private sector, then acts as a bridge, transitioning those research results into applications used for operations by the 45th Weather Squadron and the National Weather Service in Melbourne, Florida.

The AMU is funded and managed by NASA and hosted by the U.S. Air Force, co-located with Range Weather Operations on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. It is tasked by its customers through a cooperative effort of NASA, the USAF and NWS. The AMU is currently operated by ENSCO, Inc. under a competitively-awarded contract.

PRODUCTS 

The AMU develops products that exploit weather technology to increase safety, reduce cost, and lessen weather impacts to space operations such as:
  1. Tools that produce more precise forecasts of the location and timing of weather hazards
  2. Methods to optimize the use of sensors
  3. Local numerical weather prediction systems tailored to operational requirements
  4. Techniques to improve the quality, accuracy and utility of locally collected data

TOOLS 

The AMU uses local and national data sets, state-of-the-art computing hardware, sophisticated software packages and rigorous and effective analysis techniques in the execution of tasks.

NEWS FEATURES

October 2012 - National Weather Association (NWA) Annual Meeting
AMU member Winnie Crawford attended the Annual NWA Meeting in Madison, Wis.
September 2012 - AMU Participates in the First Annual Kennedy Space Center Innovation Expo
AMU staff members participated in the first annual Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Innovation Expo on Sep. 6, 2012. The AMU participants included Dr. Lisa Huddleston, Ms. Winnie Crawford, Dr. Leela Watson, Ms. Jackie Shafer and Dr. Bill Bauman.

innovation Expo Dr. Huddleston briefing one of the participants that visited the AMU exhibit.

The AMU staff participated in the Kennedy Showcase component of the Expo, described by the Expo organizers as a "World's Fair" providing an opportunity for all KSC organizations and groups to communicate the wide variety of work being done at KSC. The AMU staff displayed two posters providing an overview of the AMU and a sample of various products and tools produced for AMU customers. Their computer-based interactive table-top display included products the team developed such as triggered lightning threat monitoring, objective lightning forecasting, upper-level winds forecasting for launch, optical imaging for space shuttle return-to-flight and lightning climatology.
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