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Analysis of Near Simultaneous Jimsphere and AMPS High Resolution Wind ProfilesThe high-resolution wind profile of the Automated Meteorological Profiling System (HRAMPS) is the proposed replacement for the Jimsphere measurement system used to support NASA Shuttle launches from the Eastern Test Range (ETR). Samples of twenty-six ETR near simultaneous Jimsphere and HRAMPS wind profiles were obtained for Shuttle program HRAMPS certification studies. Shuttle systems engineering certification is to ensure that spacecraft and launch vehicle systems performance and safety evaluations for each launch (derived from flight simulations with Jimsphere wind profile data bases) retain their validity when HRAMPS profiles are used on day-of-launch (DOL) in trajectory and loads simulations to support the commit-to-launch decision. This paper describes a statistical analysis of the near simultaneous profiles. In principle the differences between a Jimsphere profile and an HRAMPS profile should be attributed to tracking technology (radar versus GPS tracking of a Jimsphere flight element) and the method for derivation of wind vectors from the raw tracking data. In reality, it is not technically feasible to track the same Jimsphere balloon with the two systems. The aluminized Mylar surface of the standard Jimsphere flight element facilitates radar tracking, but it interferes with HRAMPS during simultaneous tracking. Suspending a radar reflector from an HRAMPS flight element (Jimsphere without aluminized coating) does not produce satisfactory Jimsphere profiles because of intermittent radar returns. Thus, differences between the Jimsphere and HRAMPS profiles are also attributed to differences in the trajectories of separate flight elements. Because of small sample size and a test period limited to one winter season, test measurements during extreme high winds aloft could not have been expected and did not occur. It is during the highest winds that the largest differences between Jimsphere and HRAMPS would occur because the distance between flight elements would be larger. Jimsphere radar tracking noise increases as a function of balloon displacement downrange. The Jimsphere data processing compensates for tracking signal/noise degradation by increasing the smoothing interval. The Jimsphere wind profile effective resolution is a function of downrange distance and altitude, whereas the effective resolution of the HRAMPS should be independent of those variables. The procedure used for editing Jimsphere spikes in Shuttle DOL profiles was not implemented for the Jimsphere profile measurements during the AMPS field tests. For this analysis a code was developed that essentially mimics DOL Jimsphere spike editing. Jimsphere profiles have somewhat more noise in the wavelength range less than 200m defined as the noise floor. No differences between Jimsphere and HRAMPS wind profile pairs have been found that would support denial of HRAMPS certification for application in Shuttle DOL applications. The reliability of the HRAMPS system, which is an important certification issue, is not addressed in this study.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Adelfang, S. I.
(Computer Sciences Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 6, 2003
Subject Category
Instrumentation And Photography
Meeting Information
Meeting: 41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
Location: Reno, NV
Country: United States
Start Date: January 6, 2003
End Date: January 9, 2003
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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