NOAA Highlights High-Profile Usage of ARL’s sUAS for Meteorological Forecasting

March 2020

ARL’s involvement in the 2019 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was highlighted in a Postcard From the Field disseminated by the NOAA Office of Communications on March 23, 2020. ARL’s small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) were flown throughout the event, held October 5-13, 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Ed Dumas serving as one of three aircraft pilot-in-command. Our sUAS provided near real-time vertical profiles of temperature, relative humidity, and winds as part of daily targeted forecasting for the 650 balloon pilots in attendance.

About Postcards From the Field: A “postcard” is a photo from a NOAA field office, science center, or any site on the globe where NOAA is conducting research or field work. The purpose is to showcase the breadth and span of NOAA’s work.

Shown are balloons aloft during Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta. Also shown are Nicole Chappelle and Mark Rodgers, of the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center. They are holding drones that supported accurate forecasts critical to safely and efficiently piloting balloons throughout the festival. NOAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program, Air Resources Lab and National Weather Service also supported the effort.
Credit: NOAA