Center for Directed Energy (CDE)

Center for Directed Energy (CDE)
Weather Cubes

Full Spectrum Weather Effects for 3-Dimensional Visualizations

 The Engineering Physics Department’s Center for Directed Energy (AFIT CDE) is currently collaborating with the AFLCMC’s SIMAF division to develop an enhanced Eaagles simulation to improve overall Optical Kill Chain (OKC) simulations. Enhancing the Eaagles simulation means providing much better physically-based atmospheric characterizations, effects, and rendering with AFIT CDE’s Laser Environmental Effects Definition and Reference (LEEDR) model output. The OKC simulations will allow for visually stunning, and realistic-looking visible-spectrum images—like those in computer games—to accurately translate to propagation and atmospheric effects outside of the visible spectrum. Thus clouds, precipitation, and aerosol haze effects shown as people see them will be captured at wavelengths for any electro-optical infrared sensor or microwave/radio frequency tracking/illumination system.  For the initial “weather cubes” for the enhanced OKC simulations, a 360 km x 360 km x 30 km volume is characterized for seven different day and night scenarios for eleven wavelengths ranging from the near-infrared to the microwave. The clear, dry to humid, cloudy and raining scenarios are all based on actual conditions that have occurred in a volume centered on Laredo, Texas. To create the thermodynamic conditions specified in the different scenarios, CDE collaborated with the AFLCMC’s weather group and later added microphysical and optical properties characterizations for the clouds, rain, and aerosols from LEEDR.

Visualizations of four weather datacubes with micro-physically correct characterizations of stratus overcast and a line of thunderstorms with heavy rain beneath are shown in Figures 1 through 4 for three different wavelengths.The rainfall is clearly evident in the 3 cm (radar) characterization, while the rain and aerosol structure are both evident in the 1.06 µm plot with cloud effects removed. Clouds are very evident in the 1.06 and 4.2 µm simulations. Low-altitude CO2 absorption due to pressure-broadening is apparent in the 4.2 µm scenario. 


Figure 1: Example weather cube for 3 cm propagation

Figure 2: Example weather cube for 4.2 µm propagation

Figure 3: Example weather cube for 1.06 µm propagation
 Figure 4: Example weather cube for 1.06 µm propagation – clouds removed

Contact Information:
Dr. Steven T. Fiorino, AFIT/CDE Director
2950 Hobson Way
WPAFB, OH 45433
937.255.3636 x4506 (DSN 785)

Mr. Brannon Elmore, Contractor
2950 Hobson Way
WPAFB, OH 45433
937.255.3636 x3132 (DSN 785)

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