2.6 A Mobile Ka-Band Polarimetric Scanning Doppler Radar System for Wildfire and Cloud Research

Monday, 13 January 2020: 11:45 AM
203 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Taylor Aydell, San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA; and C. B. Clements

Remote sensing techniques have been more recently used to study and track wildfire smoke plume structure and evolution, however knowledge gaps remain due to the limited understanding of fine-scale fire-atmosphere interactions and plume microphysics. Operational dual-polarization radars, such as the NEXRAD WSR-88D network, have been used to investigate the understanding of plume rise in time and space. The wavelength of operational radars (~ 10 cm) allows for the detection of large, ash particles but limits the observations of small-scale processes within the plume and the microphysics of the plume and cloud interactions. In this study, we present a new truck-mounted millimeter-wave (Ka-band) polarimetric Doppler radar system that is designed for rapid-response applications for wildfire monitoring and cloud research. The radar provides high-resolution range gates of 7.5 m which will allow fine-scale observations of plume structures and microphysical properties of the plume core. This presentation will discuss the overall mobile system design, the radar specifications, and performance based on observations of both clouds and wildfire plumes.
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