The Mapping of Aerospace Meteorology in the Brazilian Space Program: Challenges and Opportunities for Rocket Launch
Keywords:Spacecraft launching, Decision making, Operational problems, Group behavior, Mapping, Strategy.
AbstractThe meteorological and oceanographic conditions are crucial for the successful launch of aerospace vehicles. However, the decision-making process using environmental information is a complex problem, since it depends on a constant review of current and future weather conditions. To understand this process in the Brazilian Space Program (BSP) context, this paper aims to be the first attempt to map out the systemic view of applied meteorology for the launch missions of aerospace vehicles. Various Brazilian stakeholders were interviewed and their perspectives were analyzed by using a problem structuring method known as Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA). With this approach, it was possible to identify different concepts in each group of respondents regarding the current situation of Aerospace Meteorology. One particularly relevant result was identified: weather forecast is not merely a tool to be used to modify the chronology of a mission and to fully provide support in decision-making during the rocket launches in Brazil. Furthermore, the paper shows that the Aerospace Meteorology needs to improve technical processes and to develop a weather decision support system with decisionmakers’ preferences regarding the uncertainty in weather forecasts. SODA has shown to be a support tool to understand the real situation of meteorology for the launch of aerospace vehicles and appropriate to aid in future planning in the BSP.
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