The Public Health Applications in Remote Sensing (PHAiRS) project is a collaboration between the University of New Mexico's (UNM) Earth Data Analysis Center and the University of Arizona's (UA) Department of Atmospheric Sciences. The PHAiRS project developed an application framework to enhance the capabilities of a dust forecast model (DREAM) and existing public-health Decision Support Systems such as the Rapid Syndrome Validation Project (RSVP), developed by Sandia National Labs, and its commercial successor, the Syndrome Reporting Information System (SYRIS). These efforts improve airborne dust alerts for public health officials and clinicians by simulating and predicting dust storms and atmospheric concentrations of respirable (PM10) and inhalable (PM2.5) particulate matter. However, to support improved decision making enabled by the RSVP and SYRIS system, the resolution of the dust model output needed to be increased to the zip code level, or about 3KM by 3KM resolution.
To achieve this higher resolution, we proposed interoperability and high performance computing technologies to enhance dust storm forecasting. The project is also to demonstrate enhanced web-based visualization and analytical tools to public health decision makers. The project also draws on Web-based access to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) data from NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP-DAAC) for ingest into the Dust Regional Atmospheric Model (DREAM-eta), and into the higher-resolution NMM-dust, developed through this project, (NMM is the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model) that interoperates with DREAM-eta.
This project seeks to test the use of interoperability to leverage high performance computing, geoscience models, and national applications to increase the spatial domain, spatial resolution, and period of forecast when applying the DREAM-eta model. The project sought to reduce the execution time for both DREAM-eta and NMM-dust and to introduce end-users to model products tailored, in this case, to perceived needs of public health services. These goals support the PHAiRS project, and the GEOSS Objectives were tested in a proof-of-concept basis; further research is needed to bring the interoperable features of the two models into preferred operational mode.
The project is funded by NASA GIO managed by Ms. Myra J. Bambacus, and the project is managed by Dr. John Evans. Drs. Chaowei Yang, Karl Benedict, and William A. Sprigg are the PIs and technical responsible personal.
Dr. John Evans also provides technical guidance and schedule a weekly telecom coordination. A project website is setup by UNM to maintain communications. There have been very helpful to the project.