BOSTON, Jul. 11, 2006 — AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) announced today that the company will sponsor research efforts by Texas Tech University to further scientific understanding of the detailed structure of hurricane winds over land. Texas Tech has designed and built a fleet of mobile observation platforms that can be quickly deployed in the path of an approaching hurricane. AIR’s funding will enable Texas Tech to increase the number of platforms it can deploy for each storm.
“Our ability to understand the variability of wind speeds over land has been hampered by the limited number of reliable observations,” said Dr. John Schroeder, Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. “In previous years, we have not had enough spatial coverage to document the hurricane wind field as it crosses the coastline, which is important for projecting the impact of an approaching storm on on-shore structures. AIR’s support will enable Texas Tech researchers to double the number of mobile platforms deployed for each storm.”
Historically, only a handful of reliable wind speed measurements have been collected for any individual landfalling hurricane. Most anemometers and recording systems fail at even slightly elevated wind speeds and are rendered useless when power fails. Texas Tech’s mobile platforms come with their own power source and are fortified to withstand wind speeds of 150 miles per hour, virtually guaranteeing reliable data acquisition. The platforms take about two minutes to deploy, which means that researchers can strategically place a significant number of platforms in the path of an approaching hurricane.
Each mobile platform is capable of recording a complete, high resolution, wind speed time history. Coupled with data on the characteristics of the surrounding terrain, the platforms will provide a more accurate picture of the structure of hurricane wind fields.
“The scientific, engineering, and risk modeling communities will all benefit from the research being undertaken by Texas Tech,” said Dr. Jayanta Guin, vice president for research and modeling at AIR. “The team has an impressive track record for the collection of land-based wind speed data. For example, they obtained the only complete wind speed record from the eastern eye wall of Hurricane Katrina, which has proven invaluable to the many meteorologists and wind engineers who continue to analyze the storm and its impact on structures.”
About AIR Worldwide Corporation
AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) is a leading risk modeling company helping clients manage the financial impact of catastrophes and weather. Utilizing the latest science and technology, AIR models natural catastrophes in more than 40 countries and the risk from terrorism in the United States. Other areas of expertise include site-specific seismic engineering analysis, catastrophe bonds, and property replacement cost valuation. An ISO business, AIR was founded in 1987 to provide its insurance, reinsurance, corporate, and government clients a complete line of risk modeling software and consulting services that produce consistent and reliable results. Headquartered in Boston, AIR has additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.air-worldwide.com.
Michael Gannon (AIR Worldwide)