The Volcanic Ash Strategic Initiative Team (VAST) - Operational Testing of Ash Prediction Services for Global Aviation
Wotawa, Gerhard1; Arnold, Delia1; Eckhardt, Sabine2; Kristiansen, Nina2; Maurer, Christian1; Prata, Fred3; Stohl, Andreas2; Zehner, Claus4

The ESA project VAST performs its activities within the ESA initiative to enhance the use of Earth Observation (EO) data in volcanic ash monitoring and forecasting. The VAST project aims at further exploring the suitability of EO data for such activities and to improve volcanic ash atmospheric transport forecasting services through exercises and demonstration activities in operational environments. The operational demonstration services will be provided by the Austrian Meteorological Service (ZAMG) in Vienna. A volcano database was established, providing standard eruption parameters for volcanoes that erupted during the last 10000 years. These parameters include plume height, total aerosol material released, percentage of fine ash as well as vertical plume shape. Furthermore, the EUMETSAT volcanic ash product based on the MSG SEVIRI instrument is operationally being retrieved and its usability regarding inverse modelling being tested. An inverse modelling scheme is currently being installed. Work is also ongoing to integrate data from the ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) into operational simulations to better represent uncertainties.