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Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks: "Third annual Alaska COMET Symposium and Workshop"

Final Report

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAFGI) and the US National Weather Service (NWS) hosted a very successful symposium and workshop on satellite remote sensing, atmospheric data collection and modeling. The workshop was held in Fairbanks, Alaska at the Geophysical Institute on May 14, 15 & 16. Papers were presented and discussed on COMET sponsored Cooperative/Partners projects, satellite data reception and analysis, and integration of numerical modeling with satellite data. Multiple computer systems were set up and used to demonstrate real-time access and analysis of data on subjects presented. Thirty-nine scientists and students from Canada and the US participated. A variety of agencies were represented including; DOD, NWS, several universities, airlines, UNIDATA and private research firms. The workshop ended with a staged drill of a volcanic eruption and the potential encounter of the resulting ash cloud with an aircraft flying the north-polar route to Japan. The drill provided an opportunity for all attendees to see how the NWS, Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), and DOD respond to this situation, which is not unusual in this region. It also gave participants the opportunity to see how their observations are relayed and interpreted by others in other agencies.

The following summarizes topics that were discussed:

  1. NOAA Satellite Program: GOES POES and GMS for operational weather forecasting

  2. Role of the COMET Program

  3. GOES GAVR Imager Channels

  4. Mesoscale Atmospheric Modeling in Alaska

  5. Real-time and near real-time satellite and numerical Data Models

  6. Aviation Applications of Satellite data

  7. Access to Real-time and Near Real-Time Satellite Data

  8. High Resolution Forecasting Using the Supercomputer

  9. Cloud Detection Algorithms using ADEOS Data

  10. DMSP Satellite Data

  11. Monitoring Volcanoes in the North Pacific Region using satellite Data

  12. IARC (International Arctic Research Center) and the NWS Discussion: Data needs and availability for the user community

  13. TOMS Data Operational Forecasting and Derived Products

  14. Satellite Data Validation and Calibration for the North Slope


Meteorology, Modeling and Remote Sensing: COMET Symposium and Workshop, May 1997

Wednesday, 14 May 1997


8:30 Welcome
Senator Raygor, NWS Regional Deputy Director
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Director, Geophysical Institute
Colonel Tom MacPhail, Commanding Officer, Alaska Weather Unit


8:45 University of Alaska Fairbanks/Fairbanks WSFO
Mesoscale Modeling in Alaska
Jeff Tilley, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

9:30 University of San Diego/Alaska Region
Combining GOES and GMS for Operational Forecasting
Jim Simpson, Scripps Institute of Oceanography
10:15 Break


10:30 Opening Remarks
Gary Hufford, NWS Alaska Region
Ken Dean, University of Alaska Fairbanks

10:45 Status on NOAA Satellite Program: GOES Future,
Greg Mandt, NWS Office of Meteorology, Washington DC

11:30 Role of COMET in Satellite Training
Tony Mostek, COMET, Boulder, Colorado

12:15 Lunch (Hosted by the University)

1:15 GOES GVAR Imager Channels and Applications
Stan Kidder, CIRA, Colorado State University

2:45 Break

3:00 Aviation Applications Using Satellite
Brian Wien, Edmonton Forecast Center, Canada

4:15 SAR and its Use in Monitoring Volcanoes
Shusun Li, University of Alaska

5:00 Adjourn for day

Thursday, 15 May 1997

8:30 Access to Real-time and Near Real-time Satellite and Integration into Numerical Model Data
Phil Mieczynski, NWS, Anchorage, Alaska Ben Domenico, UNIDATA, Boulder, CO
Ed Miller, ALPA
Shari George, University of Alaska

10:00 Break

10:15 High Resolution Forecasting Using a Super Computer
Peter Olsson, University of Alaska

11:15 Development of Cloud Detection Algorithm for Arctic Region using ADEOS II
Bingquan Chen, University of Alaska

12:15 Lunch

1:15 DMSP: Applications in Space Science
Lt. Col. Tom MacPhail, Elmendorf Air Force Base

2:00 Monitoring Volcanoes by Satellite: an Update
Ken Dean, Geophysical Institute
Terry Keith, AVO Anchorage

3:00 Break

3:15 Interactions with the new International Arctic Research Center: A Discussion
Ken Dean, Lyn McNutt, Peter Olsson, University of Alaska

4:30 Adjourn for the day

Friday, 16 May 1997

8:30 TOMS Data and Operational Forecasting
Arlin Krueger, NASA, Washington, DC

9:30 Hands-on Exercise: TOMS Data/Derived Products
Arlin Krueger, NASA, Washington, DC

10:30 Break

10:45 Comparison of Satellite Observations to Ground Observations on the North Slope
Abdul Alkezweeny, Bingquan Chen, University of Alaska

12:00 Lunch

1:00 A Volcanic Ash Scenario; Update, Where do we stand?
All participants

3:00 Adjourn Conference

WWW address for near-real time AVHRR images of the western Arctic is:

The AVO web page address is:

AVHRR Image ID code: n14.96.276.1453 is translated as follows: n14 (; 96 (yr.); 276 (J.Day); 1453 (Time) - UTC