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William W. Vaughan and Dale L. Johnson

Aerospace meteorology plays an important role in the design, development, and operation of aerospace vehicles. Many of the issues and lessons presented occurred during the involvement of the authors with the development and interpretation of aerospace environment inputs, especially those of the terrestrial environment. Background for the actions needed to avoid the issue being repeated or the lesson having to be relearned is addressed. The engineering application importance and some issues associated with the presentation and interpretation of terrestrial environment guidelines associated with aerospace meteorology elements are presented.

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Norman L. Canfield, Orvel E. Smith, and William W. Vaughan


Climatological upper wind records have been found to be inadequate for certain statistical analyses such as the computation of interlevel correlation coefficients, time series analysis and persistence analysis. This article presents a comparison of upper wind data as observed and made available for climatological purposes with that of upper wind records that have been made serially complete. During the winter months at Kennedy Space Center the mean wind speed, as derived from the serially completed wind records, can be as much as 10 meters per second greater than the mean wind speed derived from the observed wind data.

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William W. Vaughan, James R. Scoggins, and Orvel E. Smith

This paper discusses the role of applied meteorology in the solution of large space vehicle development problems. A general outline of the role of the applied meteorologist is given, followed by a discussion of the data requirements for vehicle design and test evaluation, analytical procedures for data presentation, and areas of influence on space vehicle development. Examples of the influence of atmospheric conditions in the design are presented illustrating the utility of applied meteorology.

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The existence of undetected errors in recorded wind observations may have a biasing influence on a statistical study. In the progress of some studies it has been found necessary to reexamine the data being used. A series of upper-air winds has been checked by using available listings of vertical shear and extreme winds. The developed procedure permits correction for major errors and tolerates the minor (random) errors.

The test of data by maximum wind profiles uses the highest and second highest scalar wind speed for each station and checks the data by profile scan. The test of data by vertical wind shear uses a critical value, theoretically derived, exceedance of which marks the data as suspicious. A detailed check of the wind observation verifies this suspicious value or it is corrected. In this program 3.5 percent of the observations proved suspicious and 85 percent thereof, that is, 2.9 percent of the observations, required correction. Thus the critical value is highly efficient.

The errors were traced and split into clerical errors (1.1 percent), instrumental errors (1.3 percent), and computational errors (0.5 percent), which are quite within reasonable limits.

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