- Author(s): Ronald J. Celentano; Tamzy
J. House (Faculty Advisor); David Mark Husband; Ann E. Mercer; James B.
Near (Faculty Advisor); James E. Pugh; William B. Shields
- Abstract: In 2025 US aerospace forces
can "own the weather" by capitalizing on emerging technologies
and focusing development of those technologies to warfighting applications.
Such a capability offers the warfighter tools to shape the battlespace
in ways never before possible. It provides opportunities to impact operations
across the full spectrum of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures.
The purpose of this paper is to outline a strategy for the use of a future
weather modification system to achieve military objectives rather than
to provide a detailed technical road map.
- A high risk/high reward endeavor, weather
modification offers a dilemma not unlike the splitting of the atom. While
some segments of society will always be reluctant to examine controversial
issues such as weather modification, the tremendous military capabilities
that could result from this field are ignored at our own peril. From enhancing
friendly operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring
of natural weather patterns, to complete dominance of global communications
and counter-space control, weather modification offers the warfighter a
wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary.
- Technology advancements in five major
areas are necessary for an integrated weather modification capability:
(1) advanced nonlinear modeling techniques, (2) computational capability,
(3) information gathering and transmission, (4) a global sensor array,
and (5) weather intervention techniques. Some intervention tools exist
today and others may be developed and refined in the future.
- Current technologies which will mature
over the next thirty years will offer anyone who has the necessary resources
the ability to modify weather patterns and their corresponding effects,
at least on the local scale. Current demographic, economic, and environmental
trends will create global stresses that provide the impetus necessary for
many countries or groups to turn this weather modification ability into
a capability. In the US, weather modification will likely become a part
of national security policy with both domestic and international applications.
Our government will pursue such a policy, depending on its interests, at
various levels. These levels could include: unilateral actions, participation
in a security framework such as NATO, membership in an international organization
such as the UN, or participation in a coalition. Assuming that in 2025
our national security strategy includes weather modification, its use in
our national military strategy will naturally follow. Besides the significant
benefits an operational capability would provide, another motivation to
pursue weather modification is to deter and counter potential adversaries.
- In this paper we show that appropriate
application of weather modification can provide battlespace dominance to
a degree never before imagined. In the future, such operations will enhance
air and space superiority and provide new options for battlespace shaping
and battlespace awareness. "The technology is there, waiting for us
to pull it all together;" in 2025 we can "Own the Weather."