November 1, 2013 to November 21, 2013
Project Location: 
Project Description: 

Hawaiian Educational Radar Opportunity :: HERO

Principal Investigator :: Dr. Michael Bell
Where :: University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Department of Meteorology
When :: 1 -21 November 2013
Facility :: Doppler on Wheels (DOW) 

A three-week educational deployment of a polarimetric Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar is requested at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UHM) from 1 - 21 November 2013. The educational deployment of a mobile radar would be the first of its kind in Hawai’i and on the island of O’ahu. The deployment will coincide with a course offering of MET 628 “Radar Meteorology” which has an expected enrollment of 10 graduate students. Interested undergraduate students will also be encouraged to participate in the project. 

The central focus of this request is to give undergraduate and graduate students at UHM an opportunity for an intensive, hands-on radar education period. Participating students will be trained in radar operation and field project planning, followed by deployments throughout the island of O’ahu, and subsequent analysis and presentation of the data collected. A showcase event open to the public and outreach to local K-12 schools will also be integral parts of the deployment.


HERO in the News

The Hawaiian Educational Radar Opportunity (HERO)
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | 2015

A National Science Foundation sponsored Educational Deployment of a Doppler on Wheels radar called the Hawaiian Educational Radar Opportunity (HERO) was conducted on O‘ahu from 21 October to 13 November 2013. This was the first ever deployment of a dual-polarimetric X-band (3-cm) research radar in Hawai‘i. A unique fine-resolution radar and radiosonde dataset was collected during 16 intensive observing periods through a collaborative effort between undergraduate and graduate students at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Honolulu National Weather Service. HERO was the field component of MET 628 “Radar Meteorology”, with 12 enrolled graduate students who collected and analyzed the data as part of the course.
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Intensity matters in new tropical cyclone research awaard
The University of Hawai'i System | 5 March 2014

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Assistant Professor Michael Bell has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Grant, recognizing his early-career work on tropical storms and his promising future in research and science education. He is the fourth UH Mānoa professor in two years to be honored with [...]
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UVISIT Supports University of Hawaii's HERO Program
National center for Atmospheric Research | 23 December 2013

UCAR’s University Visits in Scientific Interaction and Teaching program launched in 2013, and the first participants are returning from their time with university partners. We checked in with Wen-Chau Lee, a senior scientist in the Earth Observing Laboratory who also manages EOL’s Remote Sensing Facility.
>> Read more


High-tech Doppler Radar Comes to Hawaii
Hawaii News Now | 22 November 2013

A high-tech Doppler radar -- a tool that Hawaii News Now's severe weather team uses to see where rain, hail and snow fall -- has been brought to the islands. University of Hawaii meteorology students and members of the National Weather Service have been given a chance to see it in person. 
>> Watch video


Bytemarks Cafe: Wetware Wednesday & Doppler on Wheels
Hawai'i Public Radio | 13 November 2013

First we'll look at the latest tech news and happenings in Hawaii and beyond. Then joining us today is Cindy Matsuki from HTDC to tell us about the upcoming Wetware Wednesday event. Finally, we find out about the National Science Foundation's storm chasing vehicle called Doppler on Wheels and what it's doing and learning in Hawaii.
>> Read more


Mobile Weather Radar in Hawaii for 1st Time | 28 October 2013

Four fixed Doppler sites across Hawaii generate all those colors we see on a weather radar map. They send out pulses of energy that bounce off objects, like raindrops, telling us the size and shape of them and how hard they're falling, along with wind direction and speed.
>> Watch video


Doppler on Wheels Advanced Weather Radar Among Hands-On Exhibits Highlighted at UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) Open House
The University of Hawai'i System | 22 October 2013

A high-tech mobile radar called the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) makes its Hawai‘i debut and is just one of the many exciting, hands-on exhibits at the 12th biennial SOEST Open House, where the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa will welcome thousands of school children and kids of all ages on Friday and Saturday. [...]
>> Read more



List of Student Research Projects

  • Almanza, V., "Dual-Doppler Analysis During a Sub-tropical Rainfall Event"
  • Bauman, M., "Comparing Mobile Doppler Radar Characteristics of Convective and Stratiform Regions of a Tropical Line of Convection"
  • Ballard, R., "Mobile Polarimetric Radar Observations of Sea Breeze Convection on Oahu"
  • Foerster, A., "Trade wind flow interaction with the Ko`olaus"
  • Frambach, A., "Hydrometeor Classification in Hawaii Using the DOW7 X-Band Dual-Polarization Mobile Radar During the HERO Project"
  • Grunseich, G., "Validation of Doppler Velocities gathered during the Hawaiian Educational Radar Opportunity (HERO) under different weather regimes"
  • Hsiao, F., "Assimilation of Radar data with SAMURAI for a Cold Front Case in Oahu, Hawaii"
  • Li, L., "Z-R relationship for a cold frontal precipitation in Hawaii"
  • McElhinney, S., "Solar Calibration and Antenna Patterns of the DOW 7"
  • Pattantyus, A., "Tropical squall line features and characteristics observed with the Doppler on Wheels during the Hawaii Educational Radar Opportunity"
  • Robinson, T., "Radar Validation of Orographic Shape Vertical Motion Model"
  • Sockol, A., "A Statistical Analysis of the November 10th, 2013 Storm on the Island of Oahu"


HERO Final Report

A three-week educational deployment of a polarimetric Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar was conducted at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM) from 22 October - 13 November 2013. The educational deployment of a mobile radar was the first of its kind in Hawai'i and on the island of O'ahu. The central focus of the Hawaiian Educational Radar Opportunity (HERO) was to give undergraduate and graduate students at UHM an opportunity for an intensive, hands-on radar education period. The deployment coincided with the first UHM offering of MET 628 \Radar Meteorology", which had an enrollment of 12 graduate students who led 16 intensive  observing periods (IOPs) with the DOW. A total of approximately 50 participants including graduate students, undergraduate students, and National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters participated in radar training, forecasting, weather balloon launches, and radar deployments around the island. Three special course lectures and two Department seminars from renowned radar experts helped to augment the educational impact of the project. Extensive outreach to the community was also conducted, including a School of Ocean Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) Open House event with over 7,500 visitors from local K-12 schools and the public, a deployment visit from a school for students with learning disabilities, and positive radio, television, and newspaper media coverage.

>> Read the complete HERO Final Report