Decenber 2021  
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"Warn me faster!"
Richard Carlisle: (continued)
Developing algorithm's on the mainframe computer at Rust Research Center required a 6-million dollar computer to process the data. Assignment to NASA Kennedy from 1986 to 1991 as a systems engineer for the Amdahl Corporation allowed [me] access to lightning detection instruments based on Taylor's original design that ultimately became the Lightning Mapping Array (LDAR2 in NASA) and the Geostationary Lightning Mapping Array on the Goes 16 and 17 satellites.

The processor chip technology needed to implement my vision of a home "smoke detector" for the detection of tornadoes wasn't available until 2010. On April 27, 2011, I was in Birmingham, Alabama, the day of the third worst tornado super outbreak in history. The tornado alert [device] prototype collected more data in one day than in the previous outbreaks combined. Seven days later, May 4, 2011, I filed for patent protection, which was granted in 2013 (patent 8593289). In 2012, partnering with Early Alert, a field test was conducted at over 100 Home Depot stores around the country. Eight months later, the Tornado Alert product was delivered to the market.
The Source:
Tell us about your personal background and how you were positioned to see the need for the tornado alert device?
Richard Carlisle:
Being raised in Birmingham, Alabama, certainly provided opportunity to witness the awesome
destructive power of these storms and collect data. (For a history of Alabama's deadly tornadoes, see this article, published by The Birmingham News, May 22, 2011.).

My interest in computer science and the chemistry of far-from-equilibrium-chaotic-non-linear system dynamics that could be modeled by computers was essential to a perspective still not taught in current meteorology curriculum. Assignment to NASA as an Amdahl systems engineer and being recognized by an Outstanding Achievement in Science from Dr. Rocco Petrone, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL for my early work in this field provided opportunity and inspiration to pursue the development of this technology. NASA research into severe weather was crucial to the development of the instrument.
Development Team 
The Tornado Alert Development Team at Mag Lab in Tallahassee, 2015
Left-Right: John Copenhaver, former Director of FEMA Area IV who supported the project since 2011.
Stan Coker, President of Global Communications who arranged the meeting at the Lab.
Sheryl Zavion, Director of the Mag Lab who evaluated the TAU and provided a written testimony.
William Wagner, President of Early Alert, which introduced the product to the market.
Bryan Blankenship, Chief Meteorologist and 40-year veteran of Naval Meteorological Command.
Tom DiPuma, CEO of Vulcan Technologies (Carlisle's company).
John Stampelos, nuclear engineer and guest at Mag Lab.
Lisa Watson, Emergency Manager with Early Alert in Tallahassee.
Richard Carlisle, patent owner.
Hans Wagner, CEO of Early Alert
The Source:
Are there things to be aware for using this device to best advantage?
Richard Carlisle:
Reading and following the instructions will provide best results. The single issue to avoid is artificial interference in the home that is out of FCC spec (Title 47 Rule 15).
The Source:
How is this Severe Storm Detector different / superior to other devices that might be available in the market?
Richard Carlisle:
All other technologies currently available rely on centralized data collection and notification that must have an intact communication infrastructure and reliable power sources to function properly. If the local radar station is destroyed or disabled (which happened on April 27, 2011), the notifications are not sent to receivers or phone apps. If communication towers are toppled or suffer power loss, the notifications are not disseminated. On April 27, 2011, I didn't receive a single warning from the NWS the entire day. Power loss eliminated the internet; satellite communications were lost; and cell tower destruction prevented family members from even reaching us. Loss of power and tower damage prevented tens of thousands from receiving Weather Alert Radio notifications. Of the 247 fatalities that day, more than half were a result of not receiving warnings issued by the NWS. Word-of-mouth was the most frequently used notification on that day. (See "Mortality from a tornado outbreak, Alabama, April 27, 2011.")

The Tornado Alert device assesses energy levels from the storm and issues an alert independently of the any external source of data or activation, and has a battery backup in case of power loss It works without programming of the user location. The additional early warning lead time (15-20 minutes) provides owners, especially the elderly, additional time to reach places of safety.

Allow me to add one final thought that appeared in an article 6 months after I filed for patent protection. [It shows that] I am not the only person with this thought. I just had the stubborn tenacity to complete the thought.
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