NOAA 2003-R915
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NOAA News Releases 2003
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The Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire has received a grant totaling $3,180,500 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for research in remote sensing of the Earth and environment. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

“We are constantly working to improve the understanding of our environment and to strengthen local and regional initiatives like University’s Complex Systems Research Center project,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “With grants such as this, we are helping to advance knowledge by actively supporting efforts that reinforce the Bush Administration’s commitment to the environment.”

The Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire, in collaboration with other parties, has built, deployed and demonstrated the usefulness of two ground-based systems to collect vertical profiles of wind speed and direction. The first, located at the Mount Washington Observatory's Bartlett, New Hampshire research site, has been operating since 2000. The second was installed in 2002, 11,000 feet atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The ground stations have proven useful for studies of clear air turbulence, cloud and aerosol influences on climate, severe weather forecasting, and air quality.

Currently wind profiles for weather forecasts are obtained from aircraft reports and from about 900 stations around the world that launch weather balloons. Data over the oceans and the southern hemisphere is limited. If satellites could be equipped with
lidar, they would collect wind speed and direction for the entire planet. The additional data would significantly improve weather forecasting and make possible better predictions of hurricane paths, the development of Nor'easters, and other extreme weather events. In addition, the aviation industry would benefit through increased fuel efficiency as pilots could take advantage of tailwinds.

So far this year, NOAA has awarded more than 186 grants totaling $65 million to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for 33 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit