In the first phase of its research program, CASA is placing test beds of small, inexpensive, low-power Doppler weather radars sited on existing infrastructures such as cell phone towers to test the DCAS concept. The first such network, called NETRAD and consisting of 4 dual-polarization, mechanically-scanning Doppler radars, will begin operating in central Oklahoma in summer 2005. This network will be expanded to 9 phased-array radars in late 2006. Unique to these systems is their ability to dynamically adjust their scanning strategies and other attributes, in a collaborative manner with neighboring radars, to sense multiple atmospheric phenomena while simultaneously meeting multiple end user needs all in a theoretically optimal manner.
In order to find out how to optimally sample with the CASA radars, we will be modeling tornadoes, mesocyclones, and other storm features with idealized flows, such as a Burgers-Rott vortex, and then fitting the observations (initially simulated data) to these models. Many scanning strategies will be devised, ranging from a single radar scanning a tornado, and then eventually scanning multiple phenomena, to multiple radars adaptively sensing a storm environment. In order to determine which scanning strategy is optimal, metrics for optimality, such as cost functions, probability density functions, and information content, will be used.