88th Annual Meeting (20-24 January 2008)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008
A case study evaluating Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing: Analysis of the 8 May 2007 minisupercell event
Exhibit Hall B (Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
J. Brotzge, CAPS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and L. R. Lemon, D. L. Andra Jr., and K. Hondl
Poster PDF (1.7 MB)
The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) is a ten-year Engineering Research Center established by the National Science Foundation for the development of small, inexpensive, low-power radars designed to improve scanning of the lowest levels (< 3km AGL) of the atmosphere. Instead of sensing autonomously, CASA radars are designed to operate as a network, collectively adapting to the changing needs of end-users and the environment; this network approach to scanning is known as Distributed, Collaborative, Adaptive Sensing (“DCAS”). DCAS improves data quality and maximizes the utility of each scanning cycle. A testbed of four protype CASA radars were deployed in southwestern Oklahoma in 2006 and operated continuously during March through June of 2007.

During the evening of May 8th, 2007, a mesoscale vortex circulation, moving north from TX into OK, spawned four minisupercells (approximately 6 km in diameter) within the CASA testbed. Four circulation areas (each velocity ‘couplet' approximately 1-2 km in diameter) were tracked by the CASA radars between 00 UTC and 04 UTC; the fourth circulation producing a brief EF1 tornado.

This paper is an analysis of the May 8th, 2007, event, with a special focus on evaluating the benefits and weaknesses of the DCAS scanning strategy. Data collected from nearby WSR-88Ds and CASA radars are compared. Initial results indicate the high temporal (60-sec) and spatial (100-m) resolution provided by DCAS yields much-improved temporal and spatial feature continuity and tracking.

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