Descriptive and Conditional Climatology for Specific Launch Commit Criteria for Cape Canaveral, Florida
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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In 1987, an unmanned Atlas-Centaur-67 launched from the Cape triggered a lightning discharge that disabled the on-board guidance system and Range Control destroyed the platform. This incident spurred the review and revision of the natural and triggered lightning launch commit criteria LCC. The LCC are a set of eleven complex rules that are constantly evaluated by the Launch Weather Team LWT of 45th Weather Squadron 45WS. Unfortunately, the 45WS LWT does not have either a descriptive or conditional climatology for many of the LCC. This thesis addresses the lightning and the cumulus LCC. A descriptive climatology for both the lightning and the cumulus LCC is presented for the 1989 to 1998 period Additionally, the climate of the Cape is divided into four seasons, and a conditional climatology is introduced for the cumulus LCC. The conditional climatology procedure uses a season-specific discriminant function to classify the radiosonde observations into either the violation or no violation group for the four seasons Because of the limited number of cumulus violation cases, the statistical significance of the four seasonal discriminant functions could not be verified. Therefore, further refinement of the seasonal discriminant functions is needed to make them a more useful forecasting tool.