3 cm (X-band) Doppler On Wheels
The DOW (Doppler On Wheels) program is owned by the Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) located in Boulder, CO. Many modifications and upgrades have been performed by NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research). The Doppler on Wheels Project is ran by Josh Wurman, now director of CSWR. Both DOW's continue to explore rare, short-lived, and small scale phenomena. Research ranges from supercell/tornadogenesis research in the ROTATE Project to Homeland Security Research.
DOW 3 in action as it scans an HP supercell near Munday, Texas, on May 13, 2005.
Various images of the Rapid DOW, supported by the National Science Foundation. Notice the mascot they have on their hood.
More images of the RAPID DOW antenna. Third image shows some of the computing systems, the blue enclosure houses the transmitter. Last image shows the RAPID DOW scanning a weak tornado north of Hill City, Kansas.
This is "DOW 2" awaiting hurricane intercepts in fall of 1998.
The following are pictures of "DOW 3" parked in front of Sarkey's Energy Center where the Meteorology Department is at OU. At that time, one or two of the DOW's was parked there every Friday for a radar meteorology course that was taught by Josh Wurman. DOW 3 has a special portable tower consisting of 3 wind measuring devices. This tower raises 10 meters high to accurately measure boundary layer surface winds in hurricanes.
This is the Univ. of Massachusetts mobile 3cm radar truck. It debuted the spring of 2001 and is now dual-polarized. It was paid by the research money gained from the 3 mm polametric Doppler radar. Bluestein continues to take these radars out ever year in pursuit of tornadic storms.
This is a picture of the back seat. A few computer components for data processing and acquisition.
The UMASS 3cm radar had an upgrade in 2005. Dr. Biggerstaff gave a brief explanation as how spaced antennas work. "Spaced antennas use two flat plates oriented at an angle to receive returns with different phases to try and resolve the cross-beam wind component."
Image of the computing inside the 3cm radar as well as a shot of it in action.
The University of Massachusetts tornado radar.
GROUND BASED RADAR
This is a TDWR radar at north base near NSSL. Images were taken during sunset.
NSSL MOBILE LABS
This is "NSSL 1". Picture taken at the NSSL's Joint Mobile Research Facility (JMRF). This van has the most equipment I have ever seen on a moving vehicle. It no longer exits, a new van "NSSL 5" took its place. Picture taken July, 1998.
This is "NSSL 4", used in many projects including Project VORTEX and Project IPEX. Inside, is the FC's station with laptops, radios, and sounding equipment.
Here is the mobile research vehicle, NSSL 5. This was used in Project STEPS during spring of 2000 and Project IPEX during the winter of 2000.
Images of the NSSL mobile laboratory, "NSSL 6". It was built in 2002-2003 and will be used for mobile radiosonde launches.
Images of the development phase of "NSSL 7" mobile laboratory. Images were taken August 14, 2006.
NSSL/OU MOBILE MESONETS
The mobile mesonet as of October, 2004. One of the upgrades includes a fast response thermistor mounted in the front of the rack below the pressure port.
The picture on the left shows a close-up of the variety of instruments on the mobile mesonets in 1999. On the right, a close-up of what's inside those big white boxes. This one isn't finished yet, but it gives you an idea of the complexity of wiring those things.
In late spring of 2000, these six mobile mesonets were used for Project STEPS. Storms were very scarce on the high plains during this time, so they came home to Norman for a while.
Wiring setup for a mobile mesonet probe at the NSSL garage.
MESONET SITE - NORMAN, OK
The Norman, Oklahoma Mesonet site located at NSSL. The Norman site has many additional instruments that are not found on regular mesonet sites.
These images show a Kipp & Zonen Net Radiometer mounted at about 1.5 meters. It consists of four sensors which measures the energy balance between incoming short-wave and long-wave IR radiation versus surface-reflected short-wave and outgoing long-wave IR radiation.
This is a LI-COR Silicon Pyranometer which measures solar radiation using a silicon photovoltaic detector.
This is an Apogee IR Thermocouple Transducer which measures sfc skin temperature.
This is an RM Young cup anemometer which measures wind speed only. These were mounted at two and nine meters.
This is a tipping bucket rain gauge from Met One Instruments. Surrounding the instrument is a wind screen which is an effort to reduce errors from localized turbulence induced by wind.
At 1.5 meters there is a thermistor (left image) that measures the temperature with a 3.6 second time constant. Also, a Vaisala temperature / RH sensor (right image) using a PRT for temperature and a capacitive RH chip for RH measurements. Both are mounted in a self-aspirated 10-plate gill radiation shield made by RM Young. This minimizes solar radiation errors when winds are generally above 2 m/s.
Campbell Scientific sonic anemometer which allows measurement of 3D wind and temperature. Below that is a Krypton Hygrometer which is a highly sensitive hygrometer that measures rapid fluctuations of water vapor.
At 10 meters the RM Young propeller anemometer measures wind speed and direction.
ASOS SITE - SPRINGFIELD, CO
An ASOS site located south of Springfield, CO.
The typical instrument suite for an ASOS site, aspirated radiation shield housing the temperature and dewpoint sensor as well as other instruments.
A heated tipping bucket rain gauge with wind shield. Obviously a heated rain gauge in Colorado is a good idea.
NCAR ATD - BOULDER, CO
Pictured is part of the NCAR Marshall Field Site, where many instruments are tested out in the middle of nowhere.
Many instruments are present including some of the newest technology. Above are sonic anemometers and various ways of measuring precipitation.
At NCAR's Research Aviation Facility located at Colorado's Jefferson County Airport, a C-130Q Hercules Turboprop is housed in a hanger which studies cloud microphysics.
At NCAR ATD, many labs responsible for maintaining and fabricating the various instruments that NCAR scientists use. Pictured from right to left are a dropsonde, the NCAR ELDORA radar hardware getting an upgrade, and outside, various mobile instrument platforms.
Last Update: 06/10/08