The Meteorological Atmospheric Measurement Bolometer Array (MAMBA) is an all-sky infrared sensor designed to characterize atmospheric transmittance to support tactical and space sensors testing and operations. By continually and simultaneously monitoring atmospheric conditions, MAMBA enables superior weather situational awareness.
MAMBA (Meteorological Atmospheric Measurement Bolometer Array) is now in a fourth-generation design with improved optics and sky coverage, enhanced resolution, a sun blocker that enables measurement of solar forward scatter, and noise filtering properties. MAMBA is able to characterize atmospheric transmittance to within a few percent, providing day and night weather situational awareness for airports or aircraft operators, equipment that is sensitive to atmospheric transmission loss, and tactical purposes.
The new system takes an image of the entire sky in thermal infra-red and maps atmospheric structure in slices at intervals of distance and altitude. High-resolution atmospheric mapping is of huge value for over-horizon radio communications, cloud cover and cloud formation mapping, astronomical observations, and more.
In 2017, MAMBA was demonstrated for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. MAMBA successfully completed all technical objectives in characterizing atmospheric transmittance. “This achievement continues a series of innovative infrared sensing and video processing projects in partnership with the Naval Air Systems Command,” said Bill Kearns, Oceanit’s former director of defense programs.
Oceanit is developing MAMBA beyond the initial Navy-focused mission, developing future uses for aircraft operations and the renewable energy sector – providing precise cloud cover and cloud formation maps for solar energy applications, airplane turbulence avoidance, and astronomical and climatological uses.
The all-sky infrared camera combines an equiresolution optical design with a thermal detector and in-field calibration sources to provide uniform sensitivity and radiometric accuracy across the sky at a relatively low price point. The fourth gen system platform cost has been reduced and can be deployed and calibrated on-site in just one hour. This system combines a next generation thermal all-sky camera, a weather station, an extensive set of atmospheric radiative transfer models, and an AI neural net trained on historic Radiosonde profiles.
Data captured by MAMBA can be persistently driven to the cloud for real-time meteorological/situational awareness – enhancing local weather data and models. MAMBA continually and simultaneously monitors atmospheric conditions enabling industries that are sensitive to atmospheric transmission loss, such as Astronomy observation, Solar power cloud prediction, and Telecommunications to function more proficiently.
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4th Gen MAMBA Features
- IR atmospheric transmittance
- Improved optics with single point, diamond turned surfaces
- Modular construction: retains alignment and can be setup and active in <1 hour
- All-sky thermal infra-red for 24-hour cloud monitoring
- Precipitable water vapor tracking
- Revised cleaning procedure allows user to simply wash mirror (DI water rise/wash with technical soap)
- Provisioned for remote monitoring and control of system power/temperature/reboot
MAMBA was introduced at the 2015 Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference and Exhibition. AMOS is the premier technical conference devoted to space situational awareness/space domain awareness across the spectrum of private sector, government, and academic organizations.
You can view Oceanit’s 2015 presentation here: https://amostech.com/TechnicalPapers/2015/Space_Weather/Jim.pdf