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TitleLong Range Weather Prediction III: Miniaturized Distributed Sensors for Global Atmospheric Measurements
Author(s)Teller, E.; Leith, C.; Canavan, G.; Wood, L.
Publication DateNovember 13, 2001
Report NumberUCRL-JC-146204-PT-3
Unique IdentifierACC0232
Other NumbersOSTI ID: 15002367
Research OrgLawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), CA (USA)
Contract NoW-7405-ENG-48
Sponsoring OrgUS Department of Energy, Washington, DC (USA)
Other InformationRelation 26th International Symposium on Planetary Emergencies, Erice (IT), 08/20/2001--08/24/2001
Subject54 Environmental Sciences; Economics; Forecasting; Monitoring; Sampling; Satellites; Semiconductor Devices; Stratosphere; Troposphere; Weather
KeywordsWeather Prediction, Global Change
Related Web PagesEdward Teller
AbstractWe continue consideration of ways-and-means for creating, in an evolutionary, ever-more-powerful manner, a continually-updated data-base of salient atmospheric properties sufficient for finite differenced integration-based, high-fidelity weather prediction over intervals of 2-3 weeks, leveraging the 10{sup 14} FLOPS digital computing systems now coming into existence. A constellation comprised of 10{sup 6}-10{sup 9} small atmospheric sampling systems--high-tech superpressure balloons carrying early 21st century semiconductor devices, drifting with the local winds over the meteorological spectrum of pressure-altitudes--that assays all portions of the troposphere and lower stratosphere remains the central feature of the proposed system. We suggest that these devices should be active-signaling, rather than passive-transponding, as we had previously proposed only for the ground- and aquatic-situated sensors of this system. Instead of periodic interrogation of the intra-atmospheric transponder population by a constellation of sophisticated small satellites in low Earth orbit, we now propose to retrieve information from the instrumented balloon constellation by existing satellite telephony systems, acting as cellular tower-nodes in a global cellular telephony system whose ''user-set'' is the atmospheric-sampling and surface-level monitoring constellations. We thereby leverage the huge investment in cellular (satellite) telephony and GPS technologies, with large technical and economic gains. This proposal minimizes sponsor forward commitment along its entire programmatic trajectory, and moreover may return data of weather-predictive value soon after field activities commence. We emphasize its high near-term value for making better mesoscale, relatively short-term weather predictions with computing-intensive means, and its great long-term utility in enhancing the meteorological basis for global change predictive studies. We again note that adverse impacts of weather involve continuing costs of the order of 1% of GDP, a large fraction of which could be retrieved if high-fidelity predictions of two weeks forward applicability were available. These{approx}$10{sup 2} B annual savings dwarf the<$1 B costs of operating a rational, long-range weather prediction system of the type proposed.
6868 K
20 pp.
 
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