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Wind Forecasts for Rocket and Balloon Launches at the Esrange Space Center Using the WRF Model
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8562-7368
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), Granada.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6479-2236
Swedish Space Corporation, Esrange Space Center, Kiruna.
2018 (English)In: Weather and forecasting, ISSN 0882-8156, E-ISSN 1520-0434, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 813-833Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

High-altitude balloons and rockets are regularly launched at the Esrange Space Center (ESC) in Kiruna, Sweden, with the aim of retrieving atmospheric data for meteorological and space studies in the Arctic region. Meteorological conditions, particularly wind direction and speed, play a critical role in the decision of whether to go ahead with or postpone a planned launch. Given the lack of high-resolution wind forecasts for this remote region, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is used to downscale short-term forecasts given by the Global Forecast System (GFS) for the ESC for six 5-day periods in the warm, cold, and transition seasons. Three planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes are considered: the local Mellor-Yamada-Janjic' (MYJ), the nonlocal Yonsei University (YSU), and the hybrid local-nonlocal Asymmetric Convective Model 2 (ACM2). The ACM2 scheme is found to provide the most skillful forecasts. An analysis of the WRF Model output against the launch criteria for two of the most commonly launched vehicles, the sounding rockets Veículo de Sondagem Booster-30 (VSB-30) and Improved Orion, reveals probability of detection (POD) values that always exceeds 60% with the false alarm rate (FAR) generally below 50%. It is concluded that the WRF Model, in its present configuration, can be used to generate useful 5-day wind forecasts for the launches of these two rockets. The conclusions reached here are applicable to similar sites in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Meteorological Society, 2018. Vol. 33, no 3, p. 813-833
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Atmospheric science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69940DOI: 10.1175/WAF-D-18-0031.1ISI: 000437098000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048660164&OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-69940DiVA, id: diva2:1227983
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-06-27 (andbra)

Available from: 2018-06-27 Created: 2018-06-27 Last updated: 2018-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Fonseca, RicardoMartin-Torres, Javier

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