223 Early Operational Successes of the Univ. of Louisiana at Monroe's S-band Polarimetric Doppler Radar

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Zurich DEFG (Swissotel Chicago)
Todd A. Murphy, Univ. of Louisiana, Monroe, LA; and C. Entremont, B. Hughes, J. D. Lamb, and M. B. Mayeaux

Handout (17.3 MB)

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s (ULM) S-band polarimetric Doppler radar began operations in early October 2016. The radar system, supplied by Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC), was fully funded by a grant awarded to ULM through the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOSHEP). The radar site is located along U.S. Highway 80, approximately 3.5 km northeast of the Monroe Regional Airport and approximately 6 km due east of the ULM campus. At this location, the ULM radar fills a NEXRAD coverage deficiency in northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas.

The radar serves as a basic education and research tool for ULM’s Atmospheric Science Department. For what is likely a first at a primarily undergraduate institution, Atmospheric Science students gain radar-operating experience as part of standard course work, as well as learning basic to advanced analysis and interpretation techniques. ULM’s Atmospheric Science laboratory space was upgraded to serve as a radar control and data center, with data transport being handled via the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) fiber lines from the radar site to ULM.

In addition to the education and research applications, ULM’s radar assists operational interests in the region. Data is provided to the Shreveport, LA and Jackson, MS NWS Forecast Offices in near real-time for warning decision support. Radar data will also be provided directly to state and local emergency managers during hazardous weather events affecting northeastern Louisiana. To satisfy both operational and research consideration, the radar is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in surveillance, full, or sector volume modes. In the future, junior and/or senior undergraduate students are expected to participate in radar operations during active weather events.

The purpose of this presentation is to highlight early operational successes of the radar. Specifically, local severe weather events on 21 January and 2 April 2017 will be discussed and how the ULM radar played an integral role in NWS warning operations. Additionally, specifications of the radar system, its benefits to the research community, current and future research considerations, and specific teaching applications will be outlined.

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