DTRA Weather Services Research and Development
Figure 1. HPAC5.0 simulation results, showing surface dosage contours from a hypothetical release of a gas over Wash, DC. The simulation used real time forecast model winds from AFWA’s MM5, obtained from the NexGen MDS system. Wind barbs, from the MM5 forecast, are shown predicting winds out of the ESE at ~ 6kts at 10m AGL.
Since FY04, RAL has been sponsored by the Department of Defense's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to develop tailored meteorological decision support applications for the military and domestic emergency response communities. In particular, these applications are used to enhance DoD's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) hazard prediction toolsets such as the Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC), Integrated Weapons of Mass Destruction Toolset (IWMDT), and more recently the Joint Effects Model (JEM).
RAL redeveloped DTRA's antiquated Meteorological Data Server (MDS) architecture to improve performance, reliability, security, and expandability, while incorporating industry standards for data access. This involved development and installation of a full-scale prototype of the NexGen MDS (http://mds.rap.ucar.edu), first at NCAR to support ongoing operational testing activities by both internal and external development communities, and later at DTRA locations in Virginia and New Mexico. RAL also redeveloped the Hazard Prediction Assessment Capability (HPAC) weather software architecture and supported the integration of MDS and HPAC weather related capabilities and datasets into the JEM software framework. RAL staff have also been tapped to provide meteorological subject matter expertise to the JEM Program Office.
Deployment of an updated MDS system is scheduled for delivery in early January 2007. This new version will include SSL Encryption, NCEP Short Range Ensemble Forecast Products, NCEP NAM 12km Forecast Products, and utilization of the DoD Joint Metoc Broker Language (JMBL) for gathering real time forecast products from the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) and the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Command (FNMOC). Work will continue to prepare, design and develop the weather software architecture for the release of HPAC, Version 5.0, scheduled for delivery by the end of 2006. This release will officially mark the end of further HPAC development and will represent the final released version of the HPAC toolset. Work in support of JEM will continue with the additional responsibility of supporting the development and integration of updated environmental datasets, including terrain elevation, land use, and climatologies into JEM.