March 5, 2012 to March 17, 2012
Project Location: 
West Lafayette, Indiana
Project Description: 

Doppler on Wheels Research Radar at Purdue-2 :: DROPS2

Principal Investigator :: Dr. Jeff Trapp  
When :: 5-17 March 2012
Where :: Purdue University
Facility :: Doppler On Wheels

The Doppler on Wheels radar (DOW) will be deployed to Purdue University in mid-March 2012. The usage period will run concurrently with the offering of EAS 523 Radar Meteorology, which has an expected enrollment of 20-25 graduate and senior undergraduate students. It will also be used as part of EAS 391 Atmospheric Field Projects, a senior capstone course that has an expected enrollment of 15 undergraduate students.

Following the highly successful model employed in 2009 during DROPS 1, the DOW Radar Observations at Purdue Study 2 (DROPS 2) will similarly:

  1. Introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the components and operation of a research radar;
  2. Allow the students the opportunity to plan and lead multiple data‐collection missions;
  3. Enable the analysis of radar case studies as part of small group projects that will be presented at the end of the semester, and potentially during the Student Conference of the American Meteorological Society's  Annual Meeting in 2013.

Proposed Use of the Facility

During the student-facilitated missions, the DOW will be used to collect radar data on a variety of atmospheric phenomena, in different data acquisition modes. Although some of the time during the period 5-8 March 2012 will be used for training, a few DROPS 2012 missions may occur during this time within a ~100 km range from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. The focus will be the synoptically forced precipitating systems that are frequent in northwest Indiana in March.

During the period 10‐17 March, which coincides with Spring Break at Purdue University, we will re-locate to a base of operations in Naples, Florida, and hence conduct missions in a ~100 km range from that location. The re‐location will allow the students to conduct research on the sea‐breeze front, its interaction with horizontal convective rolls, and the (subsequent) initiation of deep convective clouds. The DOW data will be supplemented with 6 automated surface stations and pibals that are owned and will be operated by Purdue students.

Sampling will benefit from different sets of radar parameters such as pulse repetition frequency (PRF), antenna rotation rate, volume‐scale angles, etc. In preparation for DROPS 2012, lab exercises will be devoted to devising radar deployment and sampling strategies, which will also serve to reinforce lecture material.

During DROPS 2012, individual students groups will have the responsibility of forecasting target areas, planning the mission, and deciding upon-and modifying as needed-the sampling strategy. Post‐event data analysis will be accomplished using software such as SOLOii.

Outreach Plan

The DOW will be used for demonstrations led by the PI and EAS outreach coordinator as a focal point for K‐12 student activities. These will be conducted while the DOW is on campus, and then opportunistically while the DOW is in Florida.

Read the complete DROPS2 Facility Request.

 

DROPS2 in the News

Mobile Radar Brings Opportunity for Students
The Exponent Online
8 March 2012

Group of Purdue students to study sea breeze effect
WBBA Public Radio from Purdue
9 March 2012

 

DROPS2 Final Report

Following the highly successful model employed in 2009 during DROPS (e.g., Toth et al. 2011), the DOW Radar Observations at Purdue Study‐2 (DROPS2) had similar objectives:

  1. introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the components and operation of a research radar;
  2. allow the students the opportunity to plan and lead multiple data collection missions; and
  3. enable the analysis of radar case studies as part of small group projects. Additionally, the DOW was used as a focal point for K-12 outreach activities with area schools.

A unique addition to DROPS2 was a relocation of our base of operations to Venice, Florida, for a focused, student‐led study of the sea breeze and associated phenomena. This occurred over the period 10‐17 March. The DOW data of the sea breeze were supplemented with surface meteorological observations from 6 Purdue portable stations, and wind data collected using pibals. Read the complete DROPS2 Final Report.
 

DROPS2 Images