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Award Abstract #1229181

MRI: Development of a Mobile Thermodynamic and Dynamic Profiling Facility for the Atmospheric Boundary Layer

Div Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences
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Initial Amendment Date: September 20, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: September 20, 2012
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Award Number: 1229181
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Nicholas F. Anderson
AGS Div Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
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Start Date: October 1, 2012
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End Date: September 30, 2015 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $663,268.00
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Investigator(s): David Parsons dparsons@ou.edu (Principal Investigator)
David Turner (Co-Principal Investigator)
Petra Klein (Co-Principal Investigator)
Phillip Chilson (Co-Principal Investigator)
Boon Leng Cheong (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
201 Stephenson Parkway
NORMAN, OK 73019-9705 (405)325-4757
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Program Reference Code(s): 1189, 1525, 4444, 9150, 9188, OTHR
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Program Element Code(s): 1189, 1525


This Major Research Instrumentation award effort will support development of a unique mobile thermodynamic and dynamic profiling system for meteorological and engineering research. This portable platform will combine (1) a passive remote-sensing Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer; (2) a microwave radiometer; and (3) a surface meteorological system, including both standard meteorological and turbulence sensors on a deployable mast. These components will be integrated with an existing University of Oklahoma-provided Doppler wind lidar (light detection and ranging system) adapted for mobile use so as to provide observations of cloud base, characteristics of optically-thin clouds, and airflow via range-height type scanning. These observations are to be supplemented by periodic in-situ radiosonde measurements via co-location of existing mobile sounding systems. This development will be unique, as passive-infrared and microwave radiometers have not been previously combined in a mobile observing system. Moreover, synergistic opportunities exist to improve temperature and humidity retrievals from combination of these measurements along with lidar specification of cloud base height. Scientists, engineers, students and a technician will work together to design, test and implement this mobile platform and harden systems as required for travel. Preheating/temperature controls will be incorporated as necessary to foster rapid deployment, and potential electromagnetic interference issues will also be addressed. A common software display, analysis and robust data storage system that integrates remote communication capabilities will also be developed.

The Intellectual Merit of this effort will come through improvements in the ability to more fully characterize of the pre-convective environment and relevant mesoscale dynamics involved in thunderstorm formation, boundary layer and urban meteorological processes, as well as through contributions to data assimilation, understanding of regional climate, and improved sensor synergies. Broader Impacts will include substantial extension of capabilities already resident in NSF's lower atmosphere observing facility deployment pool, contributions toward key atmospheric research objectives identified in recent National Research Council reports, potential improvements to numerical simulation of high-impact weather events, both hands-on and classroom education of students at undergraduate and graduate levels (including participants in an NSF-supported Research Experiences for Undergraduates program), and involvement of underrepresented groups in both education and supported research.


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Blumberg, W.G., D.D. Turner, U. Löhnert, and S. Castleberry. "Ground-based temperature and humidity profiling using spectral infrared and microwave observations. Part 2: Actual retrieval performance in clear sky and cloudy conditions.," J. Appl. Meteor. Clim.,, v.54, 2015, p. 2305. 


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