[Eoas-seminar] Meteorology MS Defense for William Curtis, Monday, March 30, 2020, 3:30 PM, Zoom only

eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu eoas-seminar at lists.fsu.edu
Mon Mar 23 11:00:03 EDT 2020

Zoom meeting URL: https://fsu.zoom.us/j/374872825<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/fsu.zoom.us/j/374872825__;!!PhOWcWs!nGBa02kLUR6eH2JGYAk3PDUeElPZ-Bog-lPRVYQDn1hhsibx2TSCIxhv7RlAiVQ$>

Meteorology Seminar

William Curtis

M.S. Meteorology Candidate

Title:  Electric Potential Gradient Behavior under Shallow Cumulus Clouds Using Electric Field Mills and Cumulus Cloud Top Vertical Growth at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Major Professor:  Dr. Henry Fuelberg

Date: Monday, March 30, 2020                        Time: 3:30 PM

Location: Zoom meeting URL: https://fsu.zoom.us/j/374872825<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/fsu.zoom.us/j/374872825__;!!PhOWcWs!nGBa02kLUR6eH2JGYAk3PDUeElPZ-Bog-lPRVYQDn1hhsibx2TSCIxhv7RlAiVQ$>


Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) launches spacecraft for NASA and private companies throughout the year. Since spacecraft are expensive to build and launch, a complicated set of guidelines has been developed to ensure their safety. The Lightning Launch Commit Criteria (LLCC) of the guidelines pertain to natural lightning and spacecraft triggered lightning. This research has investigated the Cumulus Cloud Rule, the most commonly violated component of the LLCC.  Using the network of field mills at KSC (the Launch Pad Lightning Warning System (LPLWS), fields of electric potential gradient (PG) are analyzed near cumulus clouds.

          This study focuses on cumulus having cloud top temperatures (CTT) between +5°C to -20°C. Each cloud of the dataset must be independent from nearby clouds, cannot be part of other convective systems, and must be located within the field mill network. The clouds are found using data from the TDR 43-250 weather radar at KSC/CCAFS. Thermodynamic profiles are obtained using radiosonde data from the KSC/CCAFS site (KXMR). Hydrometeor type is determined using a hydrometeor classification algorithm (HCA). The clouds are selected during Florida's warm season months, May through September.
            CTT is an important aspect of the Cumulus Cloud Rule of the LLCC since values specify an ascending vehicle's stand-off distance from the cloud. Colder CTTs require greater separation. However, present results show that PG versus distance is not directly related to CTT. For example, colder CTTs did not lead always to greater PG or PG values farther outside the fair field range. Results also reveal that cloud growth rates during the early stages of development vary. Inversions cause slow growth followed by rapid growth of the cloud. The median cloud growth from a warmer CTT (+5°C) to a colder CTT (0°C) was found to be less than 5 min, which translates to a median cloud growth speed between 10 to 15 ft s-1.

Shel McGuire
Florida State University
Academic Program Specialist
Department of Earth, Ocean, & Atmospheric Science
1011 Academic Way, 2019 EOA Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306

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