Weather Presentation - Air Force Association Chapter 147

Short History of DoD
Space-based Weather
Know the ground, know the weather; your victory
will then be total. - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
It’s More Than the Satellite
 Ground System
 Sensors
• Camera, Line Scanner, IR, Space Weather
 Math
• ENIAC was used to create the first forecasts via computer in
• (MOS) were developed in the 1970s and 1980s for individual
forecast points (locations).
 Satellites/orbits
 Weather Enterprise
• Civil/Military/Academic/Hierarchical mix
How Long Have We Asked About Weather?
 Cavemen had their eyes and a wet finger
• What did they talk about during awkward silences?
 Around 650 B.C., Babylonians used clouds and optical
phenomena such as haloes.
 ~ 525 B.C. Sun Tzu
 Around 340 B.C., Aristotle wrote Meteorologica, theories about
the formation of rain, clouds, hail, wind, thunder, lightning, and
 By 300 B.C., Chinese astronomers had a calendar that divided
the year into 24 festivals, each festival associated with a
different type of weather.
The word “meteorology" is from the Greek: "lofty; high (in the sky)"
First Image from Orbit
Explorer VI
-Aug 1959
-Crossing Mexico
(That’s the Pacific.
Yes, really……)
- Later first ASAT target
 1920s - invention of the radiosonde. Small lightweight boxes
equipped with weather instruments and a radio transmitter
 <1950 – Talk of photo recon w/cloud info
• 1951 RAND study on feasibility of weather recon
• 1956 TIROS Program begins
 1960 – TIROS-1 NASA experimental
TV weather
 4/1961 – NASA gets WX mission/NRO has doubts
 7/1961 – NRO gets military mission
 9/1962 – Pictures coming back
• Support to Cuban Missile Crisis
• Gen LeMay & SAC agreed to support & launch
• Scouts (62-64), Thors (64-80s)
 1963 Infrared pictures
• First discussion of Civil/Military weather split
 1964 Tactical and Strategic data
 1965 Program shift to Gen Schriever’s portfolio
 1972 Dual Redundancy
1973 Program becomes unclassified
1973 Second conversation Civil/Military mix
1974 NUDET mission (now GPS, among others)
1980-1983 No working DMSP – Greatly affects NOAA discussions
Mid-1980s Current 5D-3 Satellite
1993 OMB looks again at Civil/Military mix
1994 Pres Clinton creates NPOESS program
2010 NPOESS ‘disaggregated’
2012 DWSS canceled
2014 ‘Resistance is Futile’; move to SBIRS
What Now?
Weather Modeling
 1955 -- Operational numerical weather prediction; statistics based
(WDD 1954)
• Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit (JNWPU)
• Joint project by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Weather Bureau
• Modeled the atmosphere in the Northern Hemisphere
 1956 -- Monthly and seasonal patterns in the troposphere
• First successful climate model
 1966 -- Forecasts based on primitive-equation models
• West Germany and the United States
• United Kingdom 1972 and Australia 1977
 Gravity waves, mid-1980s
 1986 -- Initialize and model soil and vegetation types
• Led to more realistic forecasts
 January 1994 -- Climate System Model (CSM) was developed at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Notable Military
Weather Pioneers
MG (ret) Jack Kulpa,
Group Captain
James Martin Stagg
6 Jun 1944
Lt Col Tom Haig,
Col Scott
SPO Director
DMSP ‘Save’
USS America
A Very Successful Mission by Most Measures

similar documents