NASA Langley Research Centerís Advanced Satellite Aviation-weather Products (ASAP) is the core
project of the NASA Earth Science Division, Applied Sciences Program, Weather Program Element.
ASAP was established in 2002 as a partnership between NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA), the NOAA National Weather Serviceís Aviation Services Branch and the broader aviation
This partnership entails the development or improvement of aviation weather
products and information through the infusion of satellite data applications. It involves the
cooperative efforts of researchers at the NASA Langley Research Center, the University of
Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) and the University
of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) with FAA Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) Product
Development Teams (PDTs) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Research
Applications Laboratory (RAL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory,
NOAA Earth Science Research Laboratory and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Monterey.
As of 2003, the focus of these efforts has increasingly been aligned with the efforts of the
interagency Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) to develop the Next Generation Air
Transportation System (NextGen).
For the first four months of 2007, the Department of Transportation reported U.S. airline
flights arrived late more often than any other year since the government began tracking on-time
performance 13 years ago. About 40 percent of those delays were found to be weather-related.
The products developed by ASAP are being integrated into aviation weather operations by the FAA
and NOAA and will eventually be used by the NextGen Network-Enabled Weather (NNEW) System to
enable pilots, dispatchers and controllers to manage and mitigate the effects of weather hazards
The ASAP science team has developed cutting-edge applications to improve weather nowcast and
forecast products for convective weather, volcanic ash clouds, in-flight icing and turbulence
and has recently expanded its scope to tackle new challenges in space weather and on the
impacts of aviation on climate and air quality. ASAP research employs satellite technology
using instruments on NASA and NOAA geostationary, polar-orbiting and Lagrange point satellites.
These primarily have included GOES,
AQUA, TERRA, NOAA, AURA and, ACE. Applications for the NASA
MODIS, AIRS and OMI instruments, the NOAA GOES imager and sounder and the NOAA AVHRR instrument
have been developed. The work completed by ASAP is also preparing the way for the development
of applications for the next generation of weather data from high-resolution, hyperspectral
polar orbiting and geostationary satellites.
ASAP recognition and awards include a significant body of peer-reviewed and conference
publications related to the project. The ASAP manager and the projectís primary investigators
received a prestigious NASA Honor Award from the NASA Administrator in 2006. In 2007, ASAP was
selected to receive the prestigious Holloway Technology Transfer Award from the
NASA Langley Research Center. The October 2007 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
(BAMS) features an in-depth overview of the ASAP Project as the featured cover article of
In response to a 2008 mandate in the NASA authorization bill NASA and NOAA are now moving forward to
conduct joint, consolidated annual aviation weather research planning in conjunction with our FAA partners.