The Remote Sensing Facility's (RSF) mission is to serve the observational needs of the atmospheric science community by developing and deploying state-of-the-art radar and lidar instrumentation. RSF is committed to providing and analyzing cross-cutting measurements in interdisciplinary research thereby continuing EOL's leadership in the discipline of remote sensing.  The combination of ground-based scanning and airborne remote sensors provides measurements of atmospheric parameters essential for realization of the societal and scientific benefits outlined in the EOL Strategic Plan. These high-resolution, large-domain, remotely-sensed observations of clear air and precipitation are otherwise unobtainable.



HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR)

The HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR) is an airborne, polarimetric, millimeter-wavelength radar that will serve the atmospheric science community by providing cloud remote sensing capabilities to the NSF/NCAR GV (HIAPER) aircraft. EOL will use a phased approach to building the HCR. Phase A will consist of a pod mounted W-band Doppler radar. Additional phases are currently unfunded. Polarimetric capability is planned for phase B, and a second wavelength (Ka-band) is planned for phase C.  HCR Phase A was completed in January 2015 and was deployed in Nor'easter February 2015.

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S-band/Ka-band Dual-Polarization Dual-Wavelength Doppler Radar (S-PolKa)

The S-band/Ka-band, dual Polarimetric (S-PolKa) radar combines dual-polarization, dual-wavelength (S-band and Ka-band) and Doppler measurements on a single radar platform. The S- and Ka-band radars take simultaneous, collocated dual-polarimetric measurements making S-PolKa the only transportable radar in the world that is capable of describing air motions, boundary layer humidity, cloud initiation and precipitation microphysics.  S-PolKa has been deployed to many remote locations around the world, most recently in Kansas to support the PECAN experiment. S-PolKa operated 24/7 for 1 1/2 months to collect research quality radar data.

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GV High Spectral Resolution Lidar (GV-HSRL)

The Gulfstream-V High Spectral Resolution Lidar (GV-HSRL) is used to make accurate measurements of atmospheric extinction, backscatter coefficients, optical depth, and discrimination between ice and water clouds. The HSRL works by measuring laser returns and depolarization from aerosol and molecular scattering simultaneously. The molecular scattering is used as a calibration target which is available at each point in the lidar return.  The HSRL is superior to elastic backscatter lidar where estimates of optical properties require an assumed backscatter-to-extinction ratio, inversion error is coupled between altitudes and close range backscatter estimates are skewed by geometric overlap effects.  

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Water Vapor Differential Absorption Lidar (WV-DIAL)

The lidar groups at NCAR and Montana State University (MSU) have worked together since 2011 to develop a compact, field-deployable, micro-pulse DIAL.  The instrument provides continuous monitoring of water vapor in the lower troposphere at 150 m range resolution and 1 to 5 min temporal resolution from 300 m to 4 km above ground level in daytime operation with greater range at night.

» Read more about the Water Vapor Differential Absoption Lidar (WV-DIAL)