Drs. Yang Hong, Pierre Kirstetter, Qing Cao (ARRC/CEES) and Dr. Jonathan Gourley (NOAA/NSSL) have been selected by the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission as Science Team Members. As PI, Science PI or Co-PI, Hong and his team's three proposals have also been selected by the NASA Headquarter Precipitation Science Program for the 2013-2016 period. GPM is an international network of satellites that provide the next-generation global observations of rain and snow. The GPM concept centers on the deployment of a "Core" satellite carrying an advanced radar/radiometer system to measure precipitation from space and serve as a reference standard to unify precipitation measurements from a constellation of research and operational satellites. Through improved measurements of precipitation globally, the GPM mission will help to advance our understanding of Earth's water and energy cycle, improve forecasting of extreme events that cause natural hazards and disasters, and extend current capabilities in using accurate and timely information of precipitation to directly benefit society. The GPM Core Observatory is scheduled to launch in early 2014.
ARRC student Yunsung Hwang recently received notification that he had been selected as a winner of the 11th Conference on Artificial and Computational Intelligence and its Applications to the Environmental Sciences Student Competition. The competition took place during the AMS annual meeting in Austin, Texas. Yunsung received the award for his abstract "Novel Gust Front Detection with Polarimetric WSR-88D Using Neuro-fuzzy System. Congratulations Yunsung!
ARRC student Jim Kurdzo, along with ARRC faculty members Dr. Boon Leng Cheong, Dr. Robert Palmer, and Dr. Guifu Zhang, were recently issued a provisional patent entitled "Optimized Pulse Compression Waveforms for High-Sensitivity Radar Observations." This new technique allows for the use of low-powered transmitters in the collection of weather radar observations at significantly higher sensitivities than previously available for low-cost radar systems. Applications to phased array technology, as well as conventional dish antennas, will make for more affordable radar systems in the future.
Boon Leng Cheong, ARRC Research Scientist and ECE Adjunct Assistant Professor, has been named to the 2013 Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) Executive Board of Directors. The CIMMS Executive Board is made up of representatives from both the University of Oklahoma (OU; meteorology and other disciplines) and the NOAA units located in Norman. The Board meets regularly to provide advice and recommendations to the CIMMS Director regarding appointments, procedures, and policies; to review and adopt bylaws; and to periodically review the accomplishments and progress of the technical and scientific programs and projects of CIMMS. Congratulations Boon Leng!
ARRC faculty members Dr. Robert Palmer and Dr. Phil Chilson were invited speakers at the Joint Office of Science Support (JOSS) Community Workshop on Radar Technologies held recently in Boulder, Colorado. The purpose of the workshop was to examine the types of radars supporting the atmospheric sciences community today, to review emerging technologies and to identify near and mid-term priorities for radar support of atmospheric sciences research. Dr. Chilson spoke on Thermodynamic and Wind Profiling and Dr. Palmer presented a presentation on Emerging Technologies.
ARRC/CEES scientist Dr. Pierre Kirstetter and Dr. Jonathan Gourley (NOAA/NSSL) have been invited to participate in the Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX), the largest weather field research project in European history. HyMeX is a 10-year international effort to better understand, quantify and model the hydrologic cycle in support of improved forecasts and warnings of flash floods in the Mediterranean region. Improved understanding of the land, atmosphere and ocean interactions that contribute to flash flooding in this part of the world will advance the state of the science that will ultimately be represented in forecast models with application in the United States.
ARRC/ECE faculty member Dr. Mark Yeary and Raytheon's Jim Toplicar, Paul Doucette and Elizabeth Foltz were recently issued a patent on Raytheon's Single Channel Semi-Active Radar Seeker. "The disclosed approach provides a low-cost approach by employing a single channel receiver for a direction-finding missile, rather than a conventional four-channel system". It employs interferometry techniques and also leverages orthogonal waveforms and pseudorandom noise codes.
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!