Micro-Pulse DIAL (MPD) Network Demonstration

04/16/2019 - 07/22/2019
Project Location
36.0 - 37.5 N; 98.5 - 96.5 W

This project was a test of the capability of five Micro-Pulse DIALs (MPDs) to operate in unattended mode within a network configuration during the convective storm season.  The project occured at the US Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) field sites, allowing for collocation with ARM operational instruments, including Raman lidar, Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometers (AERIs), microwave radiometers and Doppler lidars. ARM supported this project by providing eight radiosonde launches per day from the SGP Central Facility.  The test goals were to:

  1. Demonstrate the network configuration, communications and long-term operational capabilities of the five MPDs
  2. Compare the MPD water vapor profiles with radiosondes, AERI and Raman lidar profiles and microwave radiometer integrated precipitable water vapor to confirm the accuracy of the MPD systems
  3. Collect thermodynamic and wind data during the 2019 spring-summer storm season to obtain precursor data on convective weather events
  4. Evaluate the impact of combining MPD and AERI profiles on improving the basic knowledge and forecasting skill of convective weather events via observational analyses and data assimilation efforts.

In retrospect this was largely an engineering excercise which will be used to refine the instrument design. Yet it was a significant milestone as the first network demonstration of continuous, high-vertical-resolution water vapor profiles obtained by 'low-cost' DIAL.  


Principal Investigator

Tammy Weckwerth, NCAR/EOL,

Scott Spuler, NCAR/EOL,

Dave Turner, NOAA/ESRL (Earth System Research Laboratory),

Data Manager