General Atomics Awarded NOAA Grant to Support Severe Weather Research

SAN DIEGO, CA, 16 NOV 2016 – General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in support of the Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment – Southeast (VORTEX-SE) research program. GA-EMS and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), each under separate NOAA grants, will form a collaborative research team to further study and assess infrasound technology as a viable, dependable method of direct tornado detection.

"Grants such as this are incredibly important in facilitating scientific and engineering research to validate the use and effectiveness of infrasound technologies to complement current detection methods," said Nick Bucci, vice president, Missile Defense and Space Systems at GA-EMS. "Combining additional research and proven infrasound sensor technologies will help advance the development of early warning systems enabling faster, more reliable public notifications of impending storms and tornados."

Infrasound Collection Element (ICE) sensors, designed and manufactured by GA-EMS, will be deployed in the Southeast U.S. in both fixed and portable arrays to collect infrasound emissions produced during severe weather activity. Sensor data will then be correlated and validated with the data received from dual polarization Doppler radar and other traditional resources. GA-EMS will conduct analysis and algorithm development that will help increase the probability of detection and improve the confidence in, and creation of, severe weather alerts.

"Our success in collecting and analyzing data from our ICE sensors during the deadly 2011 tornado outbreak confirmed the viability and accuracy of infrasound technology in detecting and tracking severe weather," continued Bucci. "This new award provides a broader field base to continue infrasound research and data analysis efforts and to identify information gaps in existing monitoring techniques to detect, characterize, and verify tornado activity."

About The University of Alabama in Huntsville

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a leading doctoral-granting, research-intensive university in Alabama, where approximately half of the graduates earn degrees in engineering or science. UAH offers 84 degree-granting programs that meet the highest standards of excellence, including bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. programs through its seven colleges and School of Graduate Studies.

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS' history of research, development and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide.

For further information contact:

Meghan Ehlke
Strategic Communications Manager
(858) 964-7058

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