The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced the launch of a new weather training aid, Science on a Sphere.
The new room sized, global display system has been installed at the 335th Training Squadron’s (TRS) Weather Training Complex in Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, US.
This system uses computers with high-end graphic cards and video projectors to display data onto a 48-inch carbon fibre globe, which is suspended from the ceiling.
The system will not display data in real-time, but data can be saved to a disk and projected at any time.
335th TRS weather training instructor supervisor captain Caleb Tynes said: “The system was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as an educational tool to help illustrate earth weather science through animations of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperatures.”
The animations, ranging from satellite imagery to radar to hurricane tracking patterns, projected onto the globe give the illusion that the globe rotates just like the Earth does, the US Air Force stated.
The system is said to use animations from more than 500 pre-constructed data packages to enhance the training environment.
It will be used as a tool by instructors for Weather Initial Skills and Weather Officer Courses to help students understand fundamental atmospheric and oceanographic processes.
The procurement and installation of the system was carried out in collaboration between the 335th TRS, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, 81st Training Support Squadron, 81st Communications Squadron, 85th Engineering Installation Squadron and the contractors, BWC Visual Technology.
Image: The latest training aid. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue.