Modeling Optical Turbulence with COAMPS During Two Observation Periods at Vandenberg AFB
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The objective of this thesis is to investigate the forecastability of optical turbulence using the U.S. Navys Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System COAMPS. First, a detailed synoptic study was performed over the Eastern Pacific region for observation periods in October 2001 and March 2002 to focus on mesoscale features affecting Vandenberg AFB. Second, a modified version of COAMPS version 2.0.16 model output was evaluated to ensure reasonable modeling of the mesoscale. Next, temperature and dewpoint temperature vertical profiles of COAMPS, modified with the Turbulent Kinetic Energy TKE Method, were compared with balloon-launched rawinsondes, initially, then with higher resolution thermosondes. Optical turbulence parameters were then calculated from the data and a comparison between synthetic profiles and thermosonde-derived profiles were qualitatively and quantitatively studied. Then the vertical resolution of the model was increased for selected forecasts to determine the potential for forecast improvement.
- Fluid Mechanics