LIDAR RADAR Open Software Environment

The LROSE project

LROSE is a joint project between the Atmospheric Science Department at Colorado State University (CSU) and the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

LROSE on github

See: for the main introduction page. for the NCAR LROSE-core source code and releases.

What is LROSE?

  • LROSE is an NSF-funded project to develop common software for the LIDAR, RADAR and PROFILER community.
  • It is based on collaborative, open source development. The code would be freely available on the web.
  • The core: developed over the years by CSU/AtmosScience and NCAR/EOL. Will be updated.
  • Algorithms and analysis tools: developed and supported by the community.
  • Data to be stored in portable data formats, based on UNIDATA NetCDF, following the Climate and Forecasting (CF) conventions to facilitate data assimilation by models.

LROSE was first proposed to the National Science Foundation (NSF), in a white paper, in 2011. After revisions, this white paper was released to the user community in September 2012 to obtain feedback and comments.

NSF provided seed funding in 2012 and 2013 to help start LROSE development.

In 2014 and 2015, an LROSE proposal was submitted to the NSF Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.

In 2016, NSF funded LROSE for 4 years under the SI2-SSI program. See:

Radial RHI display

What problem are we trying to solve?

  • We support users in the scientific community, but we are finding it increasingly difficult to provide good quality support for aging legacy applications.
  • The scientific community has needs that are not supported by our current software.
  • We have a large code base of software,  of varying ages and maintainability.
  • We have inherited data formats that are not optimal for scientific data exchange.


LROSE components

LROSE is intended to handle information at all stages, from time series right at the instrument, to moments in radial format, to products in Cartesian coordinates, displays that integrate the data for visualization, to provision of data to models for data assimilation.

The intention is that NCAR will develop the so-called 'core' functionality, while the community would be encouraged to contribute aspects specific to their needs, that could then be shared by other researchers.

The components fall into the following categories:

  • Core data exchange formats (EOL/UNIDATA): files and data streams in standardized formats – mostly NetCDF using the Climate and Forecasting (CF) conventions, suitable for exporting to models for data assimilation.
  • Core infrastructure (NCAR/EOL): applications that provide the ‘glue’ to hold the system together.
  • Community algorithms and tools: analysis, research, generating derived products.
  • Core displays for data visualization, and editing as appropriate. For example, see ArtView from the University of Wyoming at


These components are depicted in the following schematic.