A Network of Mode-S Receivers for Routine Acquisition of Aircraft-Derived Meteorological Data

Edmund Keith Stone Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom

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Gary Pearce Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom

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Abstract

Aircraft are an important source of meteorological observations for both numerical weather models and aviation weather forecasting. There has been increasing interest in novel methods for gathering aircraft-based observations, especially mode-selective (Mode-S) enhanced surveillance (EHS)-derived data. This paper reports on the progress made in the United Kingdom at the Met Office on receiving and processing these data. Five receivers have been deployed, providing up to 5.7 million observations of horizontal wind and temperatures per day over the United Kingdom. The receivers are relatively low cost and deploying them at existing operational weather radar sites has been shown to be an ideal choice. Heading corrections are required to improve the quality of the wind observations. When corrected the Mode-S EHS wind data have similar observations-minus-background (o−b) statistics as Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay [AMDAR; using a Met Office version of the Unified Model over the United Kingdom (UKV)]. For the u wind component, the average per model run o−b root-mean-square value for the Mode-S EHS–derived data was 2.45 and 2.12 m s−1 for AMDAR. The AMDAR data are assimilated into the model.

Corresponding author address: Ed Stone, Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, United Kingdom. E-mail: ed.stone@metoffice.gov.uk

Abstract

Aircraft are an important source of meteorological observations for both numerical weather models and aviation weather forecasting. There has been increasing interest in novel methods for gathering aircraft-based observations, especially mode-selective (Mode-S) enhanced surveillance (EHS)-derived data. This paper reports on the progress made in the United Kingdom at the Met Office on receiving and processing these data. Five receivers have been deployed, providing up to 5.7 million observations of horizontal wind and temperatures per day over the United Kingdom. The receivers are relatively low cost and deploying them at existing operational weather radar sites has been shown to be an ideal choice. Heading corrections are required to improve the quality of the wind observations. When corrected the Mode-S EHS wind data have similar observations-minus-background (o−b) statistics as Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay [AMDAR; using a Met Office version of the Unified Model over the United Kingdom (UKV)]. For the u wind component, the average per model run o−b root-mean-square value for the Mode-S EHS–derived data was 2.45 and 2.12 m s−1 for AMDAR. The AMDAR data are assimilated into the model.

Corresponding author address: Ed Stone, Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, Devon EX1 3PB, United Kingdom. E-mail: ed.stone@metoffice.gov.uk
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