posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 08:25 PM
AS A FORCE MULTIPLIER: OWNING THE WEATHER IN 2025
MILITARY APPLICATIONS OF WEATHER MODIFICATION
We express our appreciation to Mr Mike McKim of Air War College
who provided a wealth of technical expertise and innovative ideas
that significantly contributed to our paper. We are also especially
grateful for the devoted support of our families during this research
project. Their understanding and patience during the demanding
research period were crucial to the project's success.
In 2025, US aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing
on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies
to war-fighting applications. Such a capability offers the war
fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible.
It provides opportunities to impact operations across the full
spectrum of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures.
The purpose of this paper is to outline a strategy for the use
of a future weather-modification system to achieve military objectives
rather than to provide a detailed technical road map.
A high-risk, high-reward endeavor, weather-modification offers
a dilemma not unlike the splitting of the atom. While some segments
of society will always be reluctant to examine controversial issues
such as weather-modification, the tremendous military capabilities
that could result from this field are ignored at our own peril.
From enhancing friendly operations or disrupting those of the
enemy via small-scale tailoring of natural weather patterns to
complete dominance of global communications and counterspace control,
weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible
options to defeat or coerce an adversary. Some of the potential
capabilities a weather-modification system could provide to a
war-fighting commander in chief (CINC) are listed in table 1.
Technology advancements in five major areas are necessary for
an integrated weather-modification capability: (1) advanced nonlinear
modeling techniques, (2) computational capability, (3) information
gathering and transmission, (4) a global sensor array, and (5)
weather intervention techniques. Some intervention tools exist
today and others may be developed and refined in the future.
1 - Operational Capabilities Matrix
DEGRADE ENEMY FORCES
- Flood Lines of Communication
- Maintain/Improve LOC
- Reduce PGM/Recce Effectiveness
- Maintain Visibility
- Decrease Comfort Level/Morale
- Maintain Comfort Level/Morale
- Deny Operations
- Choose Battlespace
- Deny Fresh Water
- Improve Communication
- Induce Drought
- Intercept Enemy Transmissions
- Revitalize Space Assets
- Disrupt Communications/Radar
and Cloud Generation
- Disable/Destroy Space
- Increase Concealment
Fog and Cloud Removal
Fog and Cloud Removal
- Deny Concealment
- Maintain Airfield
- Increase Vulnerability
- Enhance PGM Effectiveness
Detect Hostile Weather
Defend against Enemy
technologies that will mature over the next 30 years will offer
anyone who has the necessary resources the ability to modify weather
patterns and their corresponding effects, at least on the local
scale. Current demographic, economic, and environmental trends
will create global stresses that provide the impetus necessary
for many countries or groups to turn this weather-modification
ability into a capability.
In the United States, weather-modification will likely become
a part of national security policy with both domestic and international
applications. Our government will pursue such a policy, depending
on its interests, at various levels. These levels could include
unilateral actions, participation in a security framework such
as NATO, membership in an international organization such as the
UN, or participation in a coalition. Assuming that in 2025 our
national security strategy includes weather-modification, its
use in our national military strategy will naturally follow. Besides
the significant benefits an operational capability would provide,
another motivation to pursue weather-modification is to deter
and counter potential adversaries.
In this paper we show that appropriate application of weather-modification
can provide battlespace dominance to a degree never before imagined.
In the future, such operations will enhance air and space superiority
and provide new options for battlespace shaping and battlespace
awareness. "The technology is there, waiting for us to pull it
all together;" in 2025 we can "Own the Weather."
1 - Introduction
Imagine that in 2025 the US is fighting a rich, but now consolidated,
politically powerful drug cartel in South America. The cartel
has purchased hundreds of Russian-and Chinese-built fighters that
have successfully thwarted our attempts to attack their production
facilities. With their local numerical superiority and interior
lines, the cartel is launching more than 10 aircraft for every
one of ours. In addition, the cartel is using the French system
probatoire d' observation de la terre (SPOT) positioning and tracking
imagery systems, which in 2025 are capable of transmitting near-real-time,
multispectral imagery with 1 meter resolution. The US wishes to
engage the enemy on an uneven playing field in order to exploit
the full potential of our aircraft and munitions.
Meteorological analysis reveals that equatorial South America
typically has afternoon thunderstorms on a daily basis throughout
the year. Our intelligence has confirmed that cartel pilots are
reluctant to fly in or near thunderstorms. Therefore, our weather
force support element (WFSE), which is a part of the commander
in chief's (CINC) air operations center (AOC), is tasked to forecast
storm paths and trigger or intensify thunderstorm cells over critical
target areas that the enemy must defend with their aircraft. Since
our aircraft in 2025 have all-weather capability, the thunderstorm
threat is minimal to our forces, and we can effectively and decisively
control the sky over the target.
The WFSE has the necessary sensor and communication capabilities
to observe, detect, and act on weather-modification requirements
to support US military objectives. These capabilities are part
of an advanced battle area system that supports the war-fighting
CINC. In our scenario, the CINC tasks the WFSE to conduct storm
intensification and concealment operations. The WFSE models the
atmospheric conditions to forecast, with 90 percent confidence,
the likelihood of successful modification using airborne cloud
generation and seeding.
In 2025, uninhabited aerospace vehicles (UAV) are routinely used
for weather-modification operations. By cross-referencing desired
attack times with wind and thunderstorm forecasts and the SPOT
satellite's projected orbit, the WFSE generates mission profiles
for each UAV. The WFSE guides each UAV using near-real-time information
from a networked sensor array.
Prior to the attack, which is coordinated with forecasted weather
conditions, the UAVs begin cloud generation and seeding operations.
UAVs disperse a cirrus shield to deny enemy visual and infrared
(IR) surveillance. Simultaneously, microwave heaters create localized
scintillation to disrupt active sensing via synthetic aperture
radar (SAR) systems such as the commercially available Canadian
search and rescue satellite-aided tracking (SARSAT) that will
be widely available in 2025. Other cloud seeding operations cause
a developing thunderstorm to intensify over the target, severely
limiting the enemy's capability to defend. The WFSE monitors the
entire operation in real-time and notes the successful completion
of another very important but routine weather-modification mission.
This scenario may seem far-fetched, but by 2025 it is within the
realm of possibility. The next chapter explores the reasons for
weather-modification, defines the scope, and examines trends that
will make it possible in the next 30 years.
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5 - Appendix