Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Radar Innovations Laboratory (RIL) took place on October 30 with several local, state and national dignitaries in attendance. The 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, dedicated to advancing OU's radar program, will include a large microwave lab, high-bay garage, prototype fabrication facilities, machine shop, two precision anechoic chambers, experimental observation deck, and a unique "Ideas Room" to foster collaboration and innovation. Located just east of the National Weather Center, the RIL is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
John Meier, ARRC Radar Engineer, was recently invited to speak about engineering to several groups of 8th grade students at the Belle Isle Middle School in OKC. In addition to explaining what he does personally as an engineer, John had the opportunity to inform students about the engineering opportunities at OU and the ARRC, and to show them the Atmospheric Imaging Radar (AIR). Also, to give the students an idea of what engineering is like, John had them build the tallest tower they could out of spaghetti and marshmallows. Everyone enjoyed the experience with several expressing a strong interest in pursuing a career in engineering.
The ARRC recently organized the fourth Strategic Radar Retreat to help forge a path forward for OU's radar program. The two-day event was held Sept 27-28 and included vigorous discussion about the current state of the program, trends in technology, educational goals, and possible synergy among the Norman community. Over the next several months, a detailed strategic plan will be developed. Congratulations to all the organizers and participants!
ARRC and CEES faculty member Dr. Yang Hong's new book, "Multiscale Hydrologic Remote Sensing: Perspectives and Applications", has been accepted as a textbook for OU's graduate course Remote Sensing Hydrology. This book integrates advances in hydrologic science and innovative remote sensing technologies. Raising the visibility of interdisciplinary research on water resources, it explores hydrologic remote sensing at the local, urban, watershed and regional scales, as well as the continental and global scale.
ARRC faculty member Dr. Yang Hong's HyDROS group (hydro.ou.edu) have been transferring their high-resolution Coupled Routing and Excess STorage (CREST) hydrological model and the rainfall-triggered Landslide model to NASA's SERVIR-Africa Mission and NOAA's Flash Flood Headquarter Office for a Continental US-wide National-Flood-Landslide (NFL) project.
Recent upgrades to the Radar Innovations Laboratory include $1M of precision microwave measurement equipment from Agilent Technologies and Tektronix, and a plating station for via holes in printed circuit boards.
Congratulations to ARRC and SoM graduate student Jessica Erlingis on receiving a 2012 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Jessica's research interests include simulation and prediction of hydrometeorological extremes, such as heavy precipitation events and flash flooding. The NSF Fellowship provides a $12,000 cost of education allowance in addition to a $30,000 annual stipend for 3 years, with a total up to $156,000. Jessica, a student of Dr. Yang Hong (CEES/ARRC) and Dr. Jonathan Gourley (NOAA/NSSL), brings the total number of NSF graduate fellowship recipients currently in the ARRC to three.