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Commercial Solutions for Weather Forecasting
Title: Principal Investigator
Phone: (302) 456-9003
Phone: (302) 286-5191
Accurate and timely weather information for situational awareness is critical to the success of Air Force missions. To date, space-borne sensors for weather forecasting primarily include visible, infrared, and microwave instruments. While visible and infrared sensors have reached a high level of maturity and performance, those operating in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum continue to suffer limitations in spectral and spatial resolution. This situation is due in part to the long wavelengths of microwave and millimeter wave signals, thus necessitating large apertures for high spatial resolution that are difficult to deploy on space-borne platforms. Nonetheless, sky brightness temperature measurements at microwave frequencies remain the primary input to numerical weather prediction algorithms for weather forecasting. As such, we propose a new class of high performance microwave radiometers that leverage the burgeoning field of microwave photonics to enhance capability. Receivers based on this technology can employ coherent distributed apertures to realize large effective aperture sizes, and hence high resolution, while also offering low-loss, broadband operation with simple optical back-end processing using dispersive elements to achieve hyperspectral operation. Such instruments will provide the Air Force with unprecedented weather forecasting capabilities to ensure mission success.
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