SMART-R

Last updated
SMART-R [1]
SMART-R Sampling a Haboob.png
SR-1 sampling a haboob in Arizona.
Country of originUSA
No. built2
TypeWeather radar
Frequency5635 MHz (SR-1)
5612.82 MHz (SR-2)
(C-Band)
Beamwidth 1.5°
Pulsewidth0.2 to 2.0 μs
RPM0-33 deg s−1
Diameter2.5 m
Elevation0°-90°
Other NamesSR

The Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radar, colloquially known as SMART-R or SR, is a mobile Doppler weather radar platform operated and created by University of Oklahoma (OU) with aide from Texas A&M and Texas Tech University in 2001.

Contents

Development

Throughout the early and late 1990s, several mobile radar concepts came to be, often involving high frequency X-band radars which suffer significant attenuation, and often lack in range. Ideally, these radars would serve as research and observation platforms, covering regions scarcely covered by the NEXRAD network as a whole. [2] One such concept later went on to become the Doppler On Wheels, now a fleet of 3 operational vehicles. [3]

In order to counteract the problems previously described with high frequency radars, two decommissioned WSR-74 radars, originally used for local warnings, were acquired by TAMU. These two radars, both operating in the C-band, are less susceptible to attenuation in precipitation and have overall greater ranges for doppler products. Throughout the rest of the 90s and into 2000, development of the first SMART-R, SR-1, began. During development, a fire in the garage housing SR-1 broke out, destroying the truck and several components. Much of the radar survived, however, and the project continued with the completion of SR-1 in late 2001. Following this, SR-2 was assembled and eventually completed in 2004. [1]

Characteristics

All listed characteristics will apply to both SRs. The operating maximum power for SR is 250 kW. The highest operating frequency for SR is 5,635 MHz - falling into the C-band. With a 2.5 m center-fed parabolic antenna, the gain is approximately 40 dB. Moreover, half power beamwidth is approximately 1.5°. [1]

Deployments

Since the inception of the project, both SMART-Rs have performed field research in various regions of the United States, including hurricane research, and haboob intensification studies. [4] Both SMART-Rs have sampled tornadic supercells across the plains, taking part in projects such as VORTEX-2 and VORTEX-SE. Given the SR platform consists of two individual radars, projects are often arranged in what is known as a dual-doppler setup, whereas two radars are located at different locations in varying orientations so as to maximize wind retrieval accuracy. [5]

Related Research Articles

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VORTEX projects

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OU-PRIME

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Donald W. Burgess American meteorologist

Donald W. Burgess is an American meteorologist who has made important contributions to understanding of severe convective storms, particularly tornadoes, radar observations and techniques, as well as to training other meteorologists. He was a radar operator during the first organized storm chasing expeditions by the University of Oklahoma (OU) in the early 1970s and participated in both the VORTEX projects.

The Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment

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Roger Lhermitte

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Project NIMROD

Project NIMROD was a meteorological field study of severe thunderstorms and their damaging winds conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). It took place in the Greater Chicago area from May 15 to June 30, 1978. Data collected was from single cell thunderstorms as well as mesoscale convective systems, such as bow echoes. Using Doppler weather radars and damage clues on the ground, the team studied mesocyclones, downbursts and gust fronts. NIMROD was the first time that microbursts, very localized strong downdrafts under thunderstorms, were detected; this helped improve airport and public safety by the development of systems like the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar and the Low-level windshear alert system.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Michael I. Biggerstaff; et al. (September 2005). "The Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research And Teaching Radar : A Collaboration to Enhance Research and Teaching". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society . American Meteorological Society. 86 (9): 1263–1274. Bibcode:2005BAMS...86.1263B. doi: 10.1175/BAMS-86-9-1263 . eISSN   1520-0477. ISSN   0003-0007.
  2. Mersereau, Dennis (22 July 2015). "U.S. radars have come a long way, but gaps in coverage remain a big risk". Washingtonpost.com.
  3. "Center for Severe Weather Research: The DOW Network". Cswr.org.
  4. "OU SMART-R team deploys to Hurricane Irma". Meteorology.ou.edu. 8 September 2017.
  5. "VORTEX-SE - Downdraft Kinematics". Cswr.org. March 27, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2018.