An analysis of flight-level wind determination methods

by E. H. Sharkey


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Analyzes the results of a wind determination flight test made at Point Mugu NAS in April 1976. The test was conducted because of an obvious need for a new method which would determine the actual flight-level wind vector to an accuracy commensurate with the needs of high-accuracy bomb delivery systems. The test results show that a method proposed by the author (3-run method) provided results to an accuracy better than that required for very accurate bombing. Marginally useful results were obtained using a "circle method" and the currently-used method where a meteorological balloon is tracked by a ground-tracking radar. Unacceptably poor results were obtained by the two other methods tested (1-run and 2-run). The combat suitability of the various methods is yet to be determined.

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