Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

GPS technology improves weather forecasting

Date:
June 13, 2012
Source:
RMIT University
Summary:
The satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) technology that guides modern in-car navigation systems is now being used to improve weather forecasts.

The satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) technology that guides modern in-car navigation systems is now being used to improve weather forecasts.

Related Articles


Researchers at RMIT University's SPACE Research Centre and the Bureau of Meteorology are using GPS and low earth orbit satellites to provide an additional type of temperature profile observation for use in weather forecasting computer models.

The computer models draw on about a hundred thousand million current weather observations, including data from 30 to 40 complementary satellite instruments, to generate the information used by meteorologists to prepare weather forecasts

RMIT Adjunct Professor John Le Marshall, Research Program leader at the Bureau of Meteorology and former Inaugural Director of the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation, a joint NOAA, NASA and DOD research initiative in Washington, said: "What we've found through our work with RMIT's SPACE research team is that the GPS data improves the real-time temperature field and the cross-calibration of the data from a number of satellite instruments. This in turn significantly increases the usable quality of the satellite observations.

"We are actually able to measure the amount of bending in the GPS beam as it passes through the atmosphere. We can then use that knowledge to more accurately measure atmospheric temperatures and use this to improve temperature fields and calibrate other satellite readings. This extra information, in the data-sparse southern hemisphere, is now making our forecasts more accurate."

Professor Le Marshall said that "since the research was completed and began being used in forecasts this year, we estimate the Bureau is now delivering forecasts of the same accuracy 10 hours earlier."

He predicts that, as techniques improve, GPS data will also play a bigger role in climate monitoring and severe weather warnings.

Professor Kefei Zhang, Director of the RMIT SPACE Research Centre, said that GPS as a revolutionary technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT), provided a low-cost, powerful means of precise measurement of the earth environment.

"Weather forecasting is dependent on accurate observations of the atmosphere surrounding the whole planet, but there is a significant lack of ground-based meteorological observation stations. That and the shortage of accurate surface level data from over the world's oceans and polar regions limits the reliability of climate and weather predictions.

"This is particularly true for Australia, where people live along long coastlines but forecasters can only draw on very limited measurements from the middle of the continent and surrounding oceans.

"GPS can fill that gap. It's revolutionary technology. It's the missing link," Professor Zhang said.

The RMIT SPACE Research Centre is a multi-disciplinary and international collaboration supported through the Federal Government's Australian Space Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RMIT University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

RMIT University. "GPS technology improves weather forecasting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613073100.htm>.
RMIT University. (2012, June 13). GPS technology improves weather forecasting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613073100.htm
RMIT University. "GPS technology improves weather forecasting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120613073100.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 28, 2015) Heavy rain and flooding sweep through parts of Bolivia causing damage and leaves more than 2,000 people homeless. Sophia Soo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) The presidents of France and the Philippines issue a joint appeal for a binding agreement on climate change. Katie Sargent reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins