Open Discussion: “Astronomy meets Meteorology”

A special session will be dedicated to an open discussion with the participation of a few scientists who leads a few among the most powerful ground-based facilities from which the success of future ground-based astronomy will depend on, responsible for forthcoming facilities,  scientists leading operational forecasts systems, research groups developing atmospherical models and data assimilation systems.

Chairs: R. Gilmozzi, E. Masciadri

Invited Speakers

Roberto Gilmozzi (E-ELT PI , European Southern Observatory-ESO)
Fernando Comeron (Head of Data Management and Operations Divisions, ESO)
Gautier Mathys (Head of the Visiting Astronomers Department, ESO)
Richard Green (Large Binocular Telescope-LBT Director)
Joel Noilhan (CNRM/GMME  Head Mesoscale Meteorology Group)

Ludovic Auger (CNRM/MAP  Mesoscale Data Assimilation)
Jordan Powers (NCAR, WRF and Polar Applications)
Elena Masciadri (ForOT Team Leader)

 Preliminary Discussion Hints

- Presentation to the two communities (Astronomers and Meteorologists) of what an Extremely Large Telescope and an Operational Forecast Atmospheric Model consist on (challenges, budget, man power, complexity)

- Present and future for a Flexible-Scheduling system in astronomy

- Infrastructures, technologic options/solutions for an implementation of an efficient monitoring of meteorological conditions at Astronomical Observatory’s summits. Which support from the International Meteorological Centers ? PC Clusters or Supercomputers – which solution for an astronomical observatory ?

- Future of modeling in astronomy strongly depends on many “boundary conditions”. The quality and performances of algorithms, turbulence closure schemes and theory that we can decide to employ have an ultimate limitation: the quality of the initial conditions (i.e. meteorological forecasts) used to predict the optical turbulence. Astronomical Observatories are frequently placed in remote regions in the world where the density of meteorological stations is usually lower than in other more crowded regions (Europe and US). Improvements in the quality of meteorological forecasts in these regions should be mandatory to enhance performances of optical turbulence forecasts but also simply to strongly improved the efficiency of an Astronomical Observatory's scientific outputs. Is there anything that astronomer and meteorologists can do to get mutual advantage?

- In situ meteorological station or satellites? Which pro and contro ? GPS radio occultation strongly improved, in the last years, model forecasts in the middle/high troposphere and low stratosphere and polar orbiting satellites improved forecasts quality on traditionally poorly monitored regions in the world. However their efficiency in the lower troposphere remains limited. How to supply to this limitation?

- Data Assimilation for Meso-scale models - Where are we ?


Conclusions:
European Southern Observatory (ESO) Newsletter - "The Messenger"
December 2008 - N. 134 - pag. 53
"Optical Turbulence - Astronomy meets Meteorology"