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Information Technology and Systems Center The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL 35899 (256) 824-6868

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Mesoscale Convective Systems Detection

As the amount of data in scientific archives increases, the problem of finding desired data relevant to a particular purpose becomes more acute. While there are lots of data, a scientist may not be able to find the precise data required to support his or her research.

The figure below places the data acquisition problem into a context based on the knowledge that a user might have of a particular event, the region of interest and a time period of interest. The middle path in the figure is the case in which a user is interested in data relevant to a known event. For this case the data sets can be mined to extract information on the events or phenomena of interest. The mining results can then be placed in a database management system (DBMS) along with a phenomena search system to provide the ability to search for events of interest.

The Data Mining Solutions Center at the Information Technology and Systems Center daily mines EOS Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) Brightness Temperature Swaths from DMSP F13 and F14 satellites for the purpose of detecting MCS events globally. The Global Hydrology Resource Center (GHRC) gets the SSM/I data from the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) through the National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service (NESDIS). The data are processed at the GHRC within hours of its reception to produce full resolution "swath" brightness temperatures (Tb). A compressed copy of the SSM/I swath data is electronically transferred to the ITSC's Data Mining Solutions Center where the data is mined for MCS events.

The method of detecting MCS events from SSM/I data is currently based on an algorithm developed by Karen Mohr, currently affiliated with the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. The mined MCS are placed in a DBMS to provide a powerful search engine for phenomena discovery.

Collaboration with Domain Expert:
Dr. Steve Goodman (NASA/MSFC GHCC)