(Photo by Peter Stokka/U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Experimentation Center)
Marines in Hawaii last week demonstrated that using handheld devices and special software to automatically sift through loads of data can help ease information overload and deliver made-to-order intelligence to the front lines.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) partnered with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) Experimentation Center and the 3rd Marine Regiment for the third annual Agile Bloodhound demonstration at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
The demonstration showed how the integration of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets—such as imagery from an unmanned aircraft sensor—and command-and-control (C2) capabilities—such as communications and networking—can be tailored to speed decision-making by expeditionary forces.
“We’re trying to create a user-oriented world view for Marines,” said Col. William Zamagni, deputy director of ONR’s Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism Department. “Whether they’re in command centers with PCs, in vehicles with laptops or on foot with smartphones, Marines need access to the most pertinent information possible.”
The image was obtained as a deep convective cloud system passed over the vertically pointed radar on August 27, 2010. (Graphics image designed by DR. Jerome Schmidt and Ms. Cynthia Karengin)
Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) scientists are leading a multi-agency study which reveals that a very high-resolution Doppler radar has the unique capacity to detect individual cloud hydrometeors in the free atmosphere.
This study will improve scientists’ understanding of the dynamics and structure of cloud systems.
This Doppler radar was previously used to track small debris shed from the NASA space shuttle missions during launch. Similar to the traces left behind on film by sub-atomic particles, researchers observed larger cloud particles leaving well-defined, nearly linear, radar reflectivity “streaks” which could be analyzed to infer their underlying properties.
Scientists could detect the individual particles because of a combination of the radar’s 3MW power, narrow 0.22 degree beamwidth, and an unprecedented range resolution as fine as 0.5m. This combination of radar attributes allows researchers to sample a volume of cloud about the size of a small bus (roughly 14 m3) when operating at a range of 2 km.
With such small pulse volumes, it becomes possible to measure the properties of individual raindrops greater than 0.5mm in diameter due to the low concentration of such drops in naturally occurring cloud systems and the overwhelming dominance such drops have on the measured radar reflectivity when present in a field comprised of smaller particles.