The TAMDAR (Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Report) project is a joint venture between NASA, Airdat LLC, Mesaba Airlines, NOAA and the FAA. It is the result of NASA aviation safety initiatives designed to reduce weather related aircraft accidents and delays. The purpose is to design, test and manufacturer an inexpensive instrument to measure temperature, moisture, pressure, wind, ice accretion and turbulence from commuter aircraft that fly to small and medium size airports. The Great Lakes Fleet Experiment (hereafter referred to as GLFE) began on 1 December, 2004 and will continue into the summer of 2005. It is being conducted to determine if the use of TAMDAR data will result in numerical model and forecast improvements. TAMDAR units were installed on 64 Mesaba Airlines (Northwest Airlines Regional Airline) Saab 340 aircraft. These aircraft fly to around 80 cities across the central and eastern United States and southern Canada. These data are sent via satellite to Airdat's data center in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are processed and delivered in real time to internet web pages hosted by NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL) and Airdat. They are also available to NWS meteorologists via the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) and to FSL as input to retrospective runs of the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model. Meteorologists will use TAMDAR in forecasts and warnings, and evaluate the accuracy, timeliness and usefulness of these data. In addition to the use of TAMDAR in field offices, FSL will run the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model with and without TAMDAR, to determine if there are forecast improvements as a result of the inclusion of these data.
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