• To understand, model, and parameterize atmospheric gravity waves (GWs) by observing and characterizing them over their entire life cycle (0-100 km altitude) in localized “hotspot” regions identified in the satellite record.
  • Coordinate models, theory, and observations to maximize scientific insight into open questions concerning GW generation, propagation, breakdown, and predictability that can in turn improve parameterizations of unresolved GW dynamics in global weather and climate prediction models.


  • Initial 6-week field campaign (June-August 2014), sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NRL (joint 7500/7600 ARI), focused on a GW hotspot region centered over New Zealand (NZ) and extending west and south: DEEPWAVE-NZ
  • Deploy NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V research aircraft carrying in situ and remote-sensing instruments to measure GWs and associated parameters from 0-100 km altitude in the RAO
  • Coordinate with local ground-based observing sites and regular overpasses of GW-resolving satellite sensors
  • Provide extensive forecast support for scientific flight planning, including real-time adjoints for upstream sampling of forecast-sensitive regions for future GW generation
  • Exercise suite of models, ranging from linear theory to global models to fully nonlinear direct numerical simulations, to analyze and interpret the DEEPWAVE GW observations


  • Quantify GW effects on large-scale weather and climate at altitudes from the ground to the edge of space
  • Improve the critical GW drag parameterizations used in all current weather and climate prediction models
  • Improve our understanding of the dynamics that generate the GWs relevant for weather and climate prediction
  • Yield new insights into the processes that control and/or limit GW predictability at various altitudes
  • Provide unanticipated new discoveries in GW dynamics in this poorly-observed and remote region of the planet