Upgrade of Weather Forecast Support to Shuttle Operations
Final status rept.
WEATHER SQUADRON ( 2ND) PATRICK AFB FL DETACHMENT 11
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The report details the background of a joint USAF and NASA project to upgrade the forecast inputs at the Cape Canaveral Forecast Facility CCFF in support of Space Shuttle and missile launch operations at the Eastern Test Range ETR. Prior to the start of Shuttle Operations, the CCFF had been geared to support missile launches with forecast requirements slanted towards launch pad safety lightning, high winds, toxic diffusion and upper air wind shears. Shuttle support added the problems of forecasting safe conditions visibility, ceilings, crosswinds, precipitation and turbulence for Shuttle emergency landing immediately following a launch attempt or for normal end of mission landing at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. The short range and microscale forecast requirements for Shuttle could not be met with the inplace technology. To deal with this support capability shortfall, NASA and the USAF Det 11, 2WS and the Eastern Space and Missile Center initiated a Meteorological Systems Modernization Program MSMP The intent of this weather support upgrade is to minimize the impacts of the environment on the Shuttle by providing the most accurate possible forecast advice to support managers during processing, launch, and recovery operations. Shuttle weather sensitivities are presented along with the architecture of the forecast support system being assembled to meet these challenges.