HomeNewsArticle Display

Weather data pilot includes Hurricane Michael

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS) -- A prototype project providing the Air Force access to commercial weather data began Oct. 1, nine days before Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle. The prototype is managed at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

The $8.1 million, one-year prototyping initiative asks an independent data processing company to study the utility of commercial data for the Air Force’s Global Air-Land Weather Exploitation Model. Air Force and Army combatant commanders use GALWEM to inform daily operations, combat missions and exercises. Data in the report will include information gathered when the Category 4 hurricane made landfall.

“The Air Force was directed by Congress to assess whether commercially-generated data can benefit the Air Force weather mission,” said Brad Tyndall, deputy program manager for weather data analysis at Hanscom AFB. “We’re looking at using commercially-owned, small, cheap, cube satellites to fill in particular data set gaps for us. The objective is to show that commercial satellite data has the potential to augment or eventually replace some of the Air Force’s organic capabilities. We can get more data without having to field major systems, which can be costly when that system is a satellite.”

The Other Transaction Agreement is executed under the Open Source Acquisition Initiative managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Rome, New York. The prototyping project is the first stage in an effort to bring more startups, small businesses and other non-traditional defense contractors into the field.

On Aug. 3, the Air Force awarded the prototype project. By Oct. 1, Atmospheric and Space Technology Research Associates, a Boulder, Colorado-headquartered Limited Liability Corporation received the first commercially-generated reports. As an independent party, ASTRA will assess the utility of the data and provide a final report to the Air Force.

According to a memorandum for the prototype project award, the effort is in response to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Data from the project will also eventually feed into a supercomputer named ‘Thor,’ an acquisition project also executed at Hanscom.

“As we research more capabilities from this industry, our overarching goal is to find out if we can bring better data to Airmen executing missions worldwide,” said 1st Lt. Alex Thomas, program manager for the commercial weather data pilot. “That information is valuable, and a major part of what we’re doing is finding out exactly how valuable it is on the commercial market, and can the Air Force justify that cost compared to the infrastructure we need to generate it ourselves.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
An #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 assigned to the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Oper… https://t.co/CYG4ee8bo1
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff delivers remarks during an AFA seminar. https://t.co/gYT3UMPmtr https://t.co/0tr3D1RjfQ
A #USAF aircrew performed airdrop operations from a #C130 Hercules assigned to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squa… https://t.co/MfbkuySF8a
.@KunsanAirBase and 38th Fighter Group strengthen alliance through US-ROKAF Friendship Day. https://t.co/tdybfYWs8a https://t.co/IwGAM9yima
A #USAF #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 w/the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Operation… https://t.co/9ufagbwXmp
To enhance their ability to adapt, train and integrate, Wisconsin @AirNatlGuard #Airmen conducted aerial refueling… https://t.co/nzCMePgXU7
BREAKING: The #AirForce announces bases to support #B21 Raider mission. @Team_Tinker @EdwardsAFBhttps://t.co/j92e7uKAro
14-year-old Fallon Emery, a cancer warrior, was recognized for her fighting spirit as #AirmanForADay.… https://t.co/cVaKy4anEb
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson recognized Cadet 2nd Class Kyle Haak as Cadet of the Y… https://t.co/djHw2rBNFL
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thanks, COLAF & @USEmbassyBogota, for the warm welcome. Colombia is one of our most capable & reliable partners in Lat…
RT @SecAFOfficial: We want small innovative companies to work with the @usairforce and we’re willing to change the way we do business for i…
#ICYMI: Luxembourgers and Americans gathered at #Luxembourg #American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, Nov. 11,… https://t.co/sUOvKZ6WWE
Members of the @AFResearchLab participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art a… https://t.co/n5eFygccZc
His legacy shall live on! Retired CMSgt Alvin Benner was honored @TeamBarksdale for serving over 50 years of combi… https://t.co/KO5C4uWdUJ
RT @theCaGuard: Two of the California Army National Guard's new M-model UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters head from SoCal to NorCal, Nov. 10, to…
When it comes to diagnostic imaging, doctors seek out radiology and these @341MissileWing #Airmen detect medical is… https://t.co/QUEutqdNGV
A #VietnamWar vet & #PurpleHeart recipient, discussed with @RAFMildenhall #Airmen how tragedy on the battlefield of… https://t.co/Y0uMVhAKrW
RT @andclev: .@SecAFOfficial says the @usairforce is going to have a pitch day on March 6-7, aiming to attract small, innovative businesses…
With the help of #Airmen all across the #AirForce, @TeamTyndall's munitions flight have assessed their munitions fa… https://t.co/R46vj2thnD