EOL manages NSF-owned ground-based, polarimetric weather radars that provide atmospheric researchers with measurements of the structure, movement and severity of precipitating cloud systems and on the type and amount of resulting precipitation.

The NSF/NCAR HIAPER and C-130 airborne platforms are equipped with fuselage apertures of different shapes and sizes to accept optical windows or structural plates that serve as mounting locations for a variety of remote sensing instruments. Large, interchangeable instrumentation pods can carry optical particle probes, active and passive remote sensors and in-situ sensors. Wing tip pylons can carry canister-mounted sensors. Structures at fuselage top and bottom provide additional capacity for hemispheric radiometers and other sensors.

EOL and the Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) partner organizations provide many ground-based and airborne remote sensing platforms. The aircraft investigator handbooks for the C-130 and HIAPER provide details on the airborne instrumentation interfaces.

Please visit the Remote Sensing Facility home page or choose from the list of facilities and instruments below.

NCAR FACILITIES



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.
» Read more about the the NCAR S-Polka Radar

HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR)

The HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR) is an airborne millimeter wavelength radar that serves the atmospheric science community by providing remote sensing capabilities to the NSF/NCAR HIAPER aircraft. The HCR was designed in the mid-2000s after a survey of contemporary radar technology indicated to scientists that the envelope of airborne radar systems needed expanding to deliver high spatial and temporal resolution observations with improved accuracy in comparison to existing radars.
» Read more about the NCAR HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR)

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.
» Read more about the GV High Spectral Resolution Lidar (GV-HSRL)
 

PARTNER ORGANIZATION FACILITIES



CSU CHILL Radar

The CHILL radar (named so because it was first located in CHicago, ILL) is an 11-cm wavelength, transportable, multiple polarization research radar system and is operated by Colorado State University (CSU's) Atmospheric Science and Electrical Engineering department. The radar features dual Klystron transmitters driving each polarization channel. The transmitters are controlled by a flexible digital waveform generator, which can synthesize a wide variety of polarization states. 
» Read more about the CSU CHILL Radar

CSWR Doppler on Wheels (DOW), Rapid Scan DOW, Mobile Mesonet, and Pods

The Center For Severe Weather Research's (CSWR) scope includes the Doppler On Wheels (DOW), Bistatic Network, and Rapid-Scan programs, and related tornado, hurricane, and convective initiation studies, and educational efforts. T
» Read more about the Dual-Polarized DOW, Rapid-Scan DOW, Mobile Mesonet, and Storm Pods

Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR)

The WCR, jointly developed by the Universities of Wyoming and Massachusetts, can be operated in various single- and dual-beam configurations. The WCR can be equally supported by the Wyoming King Air, the NSF/NCAR C-130, or used as a ground-based facility. One of the radar's advantages is that it depicts reflectivity and velocity fields at high spatial resolution - on the order of 10 m. 
» Read more about the Wyoming Cloud Radar

Wyoming Cloud Lidar

The Wyoming Cloud Lidar (WCL) is an airborne observational system that is used to study cloud structure and composition.  The WCL is primarily used as an installation on the Wyoming King Air aircraft, however it has also been used on the NSF/NCAR C-130 aircraft.
» Read more about the Wyoming Cloud Lidar