45th Weather Squadron
High Tech with a Human Touch
Marine and Environmental Systems
45th Weather Squadron Career
The 45th Weather Squadron (45th WS) is the Air Force unit that provides weather support to America's space program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and NASA Kennedy Space Center. The 45th WS actively collaborates with the academic community and provides support in the area of applied research that leads to an improvement in their forecast capabilities. The space program is very sensitive to weather – and central Florida weather can be problematic. To assist with the forecast challenges in our area, the 45th Weather Squadron uses one of the densest, most diverse, and unique suite of weather sensors on Earth that includes lightning detectors, an extensive surface weather station and tower network, and wind profilers. Data from these networks are available on line via the Spaceport Weather Data Archive.
The 45th Weather Squadron facilitates research to improve their forecast capabilities. Because central Florida is the US 'Lightning Alley', much of the research focuses on thunderstorms and their associated hazards. But research is conducted (or needed!) in other areas as well, such as tropical cyclone prediction, winter winds, local numerical modeling, etc. The 45th WS has identified 15 major research topics. Most of these topics are geared toward M.S. thesis research, but some of the projects can be tailored for undergraduate research. Florida Tech has conducted research with the 45th WS to evaluate the performance of the National Hurricane Center's Wind Speed Probability Forecast Product (WPFP). One of the advantages to working with 45th WS is direct access to our local weather data – which features an extensive (and unparalleled) multi-sensor suite of instruments. The 45th Weather Squadron also has some very experienced meteorologists and their expertise with the local weather provides a valuable community resource that extends beyond their launch support activities (e.g., collaborative research projects, educational outreach, etc.).
Although the 45th Weather Squadron does not provide continuous research funding, they can aid/participate in proposal solicitations from other sources. The 45th also provides support for summer research internships, usually through the Kennedy Space Center. Anyone interested in research with 45th WS should contact their research coordinator (Mr. Roeder, firstname.lastname@example.org, (321) 853-8410).