Poster Session P13B.10 Weather radar education at the University of Oklahoma: An integrated inter-disciplinary approach

Thursday, 9 August 2007
Halls C & D (Cairns Convention Center)
Robert D. Palmer, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and T. Y. Yu, G. Zhang, P. B. Chilson, M. I. Biggerstaff, M. B. Yeary, S. M. Torres, J. E. Crain, and Y. Zhang

Handout (50.5 kB)

In recent years, the University of Oklahoma (OU) has invested heavily in the development of a strategic research initiative in radar meteorology. Several new faculty members, with interests in weather radar, have joined both the School of Meteorology (SoM) and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). This inter-disciplinary group of energetic meteorologists and engineers has established the Atmospheric Radar Research Center (ARRC). The ARRC supports a broad portfolio of research interests, including radar polarimetry, phased array radar, profiling radar, advanced signal processing, retrieval algorithms, clutter mitigation, severe storm observations and detection, quantitative precipitation estimation, and general studies of atmospheric physics. In addition to research, one of the fundamental goals of the ARRC is providing OU students with a comprehensive, challenging education in the area of radar meteorology, emphasizing both the engineering and meteorological aspects of the field. We achieve our educational goals, in part, by the creation and continual maintenance of a synergistic curriculum exploiting the complementary disciplines of meteorology and electrical/computing engineering. As an integral component of OU's radar program, an innovative and coherent sequence of radar-related courses has been developed which serves both our undergraduate and graduate educational goals. This novel curriculum is not independent of, but forms an important component of the more traditional curricula of the two disciplines. Given the importance of weather radar for many observational studies of atmospheric phenomena, it is essential to include a significant hands-on experience for the students. Our curriculum provides a complete theoretical framework with which to understand weather radar theory while also providing access to local weather radar systems. In close collaboration with our NOAA partners at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL), we have developed laboratory modules for many of the radar courses using the C-band SMART radars, the S-band phased array radar, and the S-band KOUN polarimetric Doppler radar. Experimental design, operation, data analysis, and interpretation are emphasized. A description of the curriculum development effort will be provided. In addition, example laboratory modules will be presented emphasizing the practical aspects of this program.
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