Springfield, VA, United States
Springfield, VA, United States

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Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC NATURAL SCIENCES | Award Amount: 560.19K | Year: 2010

The research objective is to utilize a suite of instruments, including
an airglow imager, to investigate short-period
gravity waves in the Arctic atmosphere over Alaska. Short-period
gravity waves are an important component of the larger atmospheric
circulation as these waves are believed to transport a large amount of
vertical moment flux into the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT)
region. While the propagation nature and sources of these waves have
been studied extensively at low- and mid-latitudes, little is known about their behavior at high latitudes. Recent efforts have
begun to characterize the waves over the Antarctic continent, while
the project proposed here will focus on the Arctic. Specifically, the
proposed research will establish a long-term winter time series of
short-period gravity waves in the Arctic, including their dominant
source regions, and influences of large-scale tidal and planetary wave
motion. The co-located Rayleigh lidar will provide essential high
vertical resolution temperature measurements to help elucidate the
vertical wave propagation, individual wave contribution to the
Eliassen-Palm (EP) flux, and coupling between the lower and upper
atmosphere during stratospheric warming events.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2011

Higher resolution optical sensors are driving requirements for highly detailed representations of natural background surfaces and man-made objects for real-time scene generators used in development of Ballistic Missile Defense Systems (BMDS). New methods are critically needed to represent such structures that are computationally efficient enough for scene generators to support the high frame rates and physical accuracy required by the MDA mission. CPI believes this can be achieved through careful selection of key physics elements and contributors to scene signatures, as well as judicious choice of the spatial-spectral resolution for the scenario of interest. CPI proposes to accomplish this by developing Visible and Infrared Scenes for Tactical Environments (VISTE), a software product for generating background scenes using these ideas, and that seamlessly interfaces with existing scene generation tools such as FLITES. VISTE will support a user-friendly application programming interface to generate background scenes and run BMDS simulations for defined use case scenarios. The innovative aspect will be a robust integrated run-time framework that intelligently selects the resolution needed to generate high speed and high fidelity representation of complex scenes given user-supplied inputs. VISTE will be a stand-alone background scene generator and scene simulator controller, with visualization of the simulation results.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2011

Next generation ballistic missile warning, defense and surveillance systems need to anticipate, through modeling and simulation, the background radiation of the battlespace environment, including geometries that intercept the ocean background. This objective requires prior knowledge of the environmental radiance conditions for development of optimal sensors and detection approaches. Much work has been done to create ocean background models, but what is needed is an innovative architecture that efficiently and seamlessly unifies existing, improved, and/or new computer code, along with access to satellite measurements of ocean parameters, in a consistent and fully integrated computer environment that can be utilized in a plug-and-play fashion by state-of-the-art background radiation codes, such as SAMM, FLITES, the Synthetic Scene Generation Model (SSGM), and the Objective Simulation Framework (OSF) to meet missile warning and defense surveillance needs. This proposed effort will result in an innovative software product called the OCEANUS (Ocean Universal Scene) Model. OCEANUS will provide MDA with an innovative ocean scene model that incorporates ocean composition, ocean dynamics, the marine boundary layer, the land-sea interface, and the ocean observables in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared portions of the spectrum.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.96K | Year: 2012

The Ballistic Missile Defense System"s ability to detect and track enemy missiles against space, ocean, or terrain backgrounds, including any intervening clouds as well as atmospheric turbulence, requires prior knowledge of the environmental radiance conditions to support the development of optimal airborne sensors and detection approaches. To support sensor development there is a need for an accurate infrared scene generation capability that fully incorporates the impact of the background on the target signature. CPI has demonstrated a state-of-the-art capability for simulating UV/VIS/IR imagery for terrains and clouds with its Global-scene Architecture for Integrated atmosphere, terrain, and cloud Analysis (GAIA) model, as well as for oceans with the Ocean Universal Scene Model (OCEANUS). For this project, CPI proposes to enhance GAIA and OCEANUS to incorporate cloud motion, star backgrounds, far-field atmospheric turbulence, and accelerate scene generation using a graphics processing unit (GPU). The feasibility of modeling these atmospheric effects will be demonstrated using real-world airborne and satellite mission scenarios, and validated against satellite imagery. This will include error/uncertainty estimates using well-defined statistical measures. GAIA and OCEANUS will implement an architecture that can be efficiently and consistently interfaced with existing computer modeling environments, such as the FLITES or SSGM codes.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.87K | Year: 2012

Optimistic modeling techniques are being exploited in modeling and simulation architectures that model the complete Ballistic Missile Defense System. Optimistic modeling allows event based simulations to take full advantage of parallel processing by distributing models across all available processors and allowing them to run at full processing speeds while maintaining correct sequencing of events and truth states. However, this efficiency comes at the cost of reconstructing prior model states when straggler events arrive at a logical processor. The simulation is forced to roll back to a prior known state, and reapply events up to the current simulation time. This process can be time consuming and error prone thus defeating the initial intent of the optimistic model. CPI and Monument Software propose to reduce the effort required to write optimistic codes and eliminate the difficulty in finding rollback errors by defining a domain specific language for the representation of optimistic simulation features. We will also develop a code generation capability to generate optimistic code components from the metadata representations. Features such as checkpoint and rollback will be abstracted at a sufficiently high enough level to allow implementation details to be code generated, thereby reducing manual labor and programming errors.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AERONOMY | Award Amount: 299.86K | Year: 2011

This project is to validate and refine the use of incoherent scatter radar (ISR) to measure atmospheric properties of the mesosphere (65-90 km), a key region for energy and momentum transfer between the lower and upper atmosphere. Based on existing data from both the Arecibo Observatory and the AMISR array located in Alaska, as well as new data acquired during the course of this work, this project will improve interpretation of radar backscatter from the collision-dominated mesospheric plasma, a long-standing problem owing to the presence of heavy ions, negative ions, and layer structuring. Specifically, this project is to compare theoretical scattering models with experimental data from the two sites and to compare chemistry models with the derived parameters. Analysis of the resulting mesospheric parameters will be conducted to investigate open questions on mesospheric chemistry and dynamics, particularly regarding the role of minor constituents, as well as climatological dependencies.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AERONOMY | Award Amount: 230.92K | Year: 2011

This project will investigate sources of short-period gravity waves at high polar latitudes as well as the atmospheric conditions which influence their propagation. This investigation will utilize measurements of gravity waves and mesospheric wind speeds acquired by an all-sky imager and meteor radar co-located at Rothera on the Antarctic Peninsula. The observed wave data will be analyzed in conjunction with the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System Advanced High Altitude (NOGAPS-ALPHA) forecasting and data assimilative model of the upper atmosphere, along with a Fourier ray tracing model for localization of wave source regions. This analysis will result in an identification of dominant wave sources at high latitudes, including an assessment of the importance of orographic waves, as well as a characterization of atmospheric conditions which affect wave ducting and propagation.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.85K | Year: 2010

The Ballistic Missile Defense System’s (BMDS’s) ability to detect and track enemy missiles against earth terrain backgrounds, including any intervening clouds, requires prior knowledge of the environmental radiance conditions to support the development of optimal sensors and detection approaches. There is a need for an architecture that efficiently and seamlessly unifies terrain and cloud models in a consistent and fully integrated computer environment. Computational Physics, Inc. (CPI) demonstrated in Phase I an architecture for simulating terrain and cloud UV/VIS/IR imagery called the Global-scene Architecture for Integrated atmosphere, terrain, and cloud Analysis (GAIA). In Phase II, CPI proposes to evolve the GAIA prototype into a fully implemented model that incorporates terrain altitude and land cover, terrain material optical and thermal properties, cloud structure and microphysics, and ingestion of satellite imagery and data products, with a state-of-the-art capability for representing scene observables in the UV/VIS/IR portions of the spectrum. GAIA will include error/uncertainty estimates using well-defined statistical measures. GAIA’s capability and feasibility will be demonstrated using real world airborne and satellite mission scenarios, and validated against satellite imagery. GAIA will implement an architecture that can be efficiently and consistently interfaced with existing computer modeling environments, such as the FLITES or SSGM codes.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: AERONOMY | Award Amount: 17.28K | Year: 2017

A small satellite with a miniature mass spectrometer (referred to as INMS) as the centerpiece instrument and including all telemetry, communication and attitude control systems has been designed, the instrumental parts fabricated, and what remains is the integration of these parts required to achieve delivery by the spring of 2017. The purpose of this CUBESAT satellite mission is to provide in-situ densities of atmospheric species near 500 km, on a global scale. This satellite, named EXOCUBE 2, follows directly on the EXOCUBE mission that had a similar scientific scope. EXOCUBE suffered communication problems due to an antenna deployment system failure, and one attitude control system gravity boom also failed. Nevertheless, the key science package, the neutral and ion mass spectrometer, did perform as expected and a small amount of data retrieved indicated the efficacy of that instrument, which flew for the first time, on EXOCUBE.

The rationale justifying a RAPID proposal for EXOCUBE 2 is that this satellite mission is manifested to fly on the NASA Educational Launch of Nanosat (ELaNa) launch queue in the fall of 2017. Achieving this date would require the ExoCube-2 satellite delivery to take place within the spring of 2017. The proposed work would rapid assemble and integrate the mass spectrometer and satellite bus to meet this demanding one-year schedule. The very short development time and minimal cost is made possible by the legacy experience and materials left over from the previous flight of the EXOCUBE satellite that unfortunately failed owing to the failure of the deployment of the telemetry transmitting antenna.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AERONOMY | Award Amount: 183.22K | Year: 2014

This project will be part of the international DEEPWAVE campaign which will seek to understand the generation and propagation of atmospheric gravity waves from orographic and other sources from ground-level up to 100 km altitude, and will use airborne and ground-based instrumentation as well as modeling. It will take place in June/July 2014 in the region over New Zealand, Tasmania and the surrounding Southern Ocean. This project will provide ray-tracing analysis and forecasts for DEEPWAVE, with an emphasis on mountain waves. Two complementary ray formulations will be used: Fourier space ray-tracing and spatial ray-tracing. The Fourier-space ray-tracing is mainly for the region directly above mountains, where wave amplitudes tend to be highest and where spatial ray-tracing often fails to satisfy slowly varying requirements. The Fourier-space ray-tracing can also be coupled to a mesoscale model simulation to improve initial conditions for the Fourier-space rays. The spatial ray-tracing is mainly for mountain-wave propagation through the Polar Night Jet, with a new treatment of the three-dimensional geometrical spreading by horizontally and vertically varying wind shear.
The work will involve a new analysis of geometrical spreading, a process that is omitted from almost all ray-tracing studies of gravity waves and that is likely to be important in the DEEPWAVE region. Aspects such as the directionality and anisotropy of the geometrical spreading will be examined for the first time and may provide clues for improved gravity wave parameterizations.
The DEEPWAVE project will promote international scientific collaboration. Understanding gravity wave propagation and breakdown in the middle and upper atmosphere is related to a number of strategic and societal issues, including the safety of high altitude aircraft, the accuracy of weather and climate models, and the ability to forecast certain space weather phenomena that affect satellite communication.

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