CASA DFW Urban Demonstration Network: A regional approach to Network of Networks

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 9:15 AM
222A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Brenda J. Philips, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and A. Bajaj, V. Chandrasekar, J. Brotzge, F. H. Carr, D. J. Seo, E. J. Lyons, D. L. Pepyne, F. Junyent, A. Everly, M. Thoerner, J. Ortiz, K. Oden, P. O. G. Heppner, S. Woll, and D. Lapoint

The CASA DFW Urban Demonstration Network is a public-private-academic collaboration aimed at demonstrating a new innovative model for acquisition, deployment and operations of regional, mesoscale observation systems for conducting research, R20, while simultaneously impacting public safety and commerce. The observation system is anchored around a network of X-band dual polarized weather radars deployed across the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex by the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) in conjunction with the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The radar network complements existing radars and is enhanced by integration with other regional observation assets such as radiometers. The radars are built and operated by academic institutions and private sector firms, while the costs of deployment and operations are borne primarily by regional stakeholders, such as local cities and towns. Additional support for operational costs comes through private sector participants interested in getting access to new data and through research funding from federal agencies.

Radar data from the lowest levels of the atmosphere covers spatial and temporal gaps in observations from existing regional radar. Improved resolution and advanced dual pol processing results in accurate estimates of rainfall over the entire region. Coupling the rainfall data with hydrologic and hydraulic modeling provides the opportunity to develop inundation maps. Close proximity of the radars allows for estimation of low-level winds in regions of overlap during severe weather. Assimilating the radar data along with other regional observation assets helps to improve forecasts. Scope and scale of observations are ideal for urban areas.

With funding from NOAA through the National Mesonet Program Alliance, the CASA DFW Urban Demonstration Network is being operated as a prototype ‘network of networks' network. The collaboration is developing a new standard format for collection, quality control and dissemination of radar data, since one does not exist yet. Metadata from all the radars and other sensors is being developed in formats consistent with national standards and guidelines. In addition, by developing and demonstrating a common command and control architecture for participating radars, and by specifying performance, data interface and control interface requirements, CASA is setting new standards for future networks in the nation.

The collaboration, observation system and operational model being developed by CASA could serve as a model for deployment of networks throughout the nation bringing together disparate local efforts under regional umbrellas with regional stakeholders. The regional networks in turn could form the basis of a nationwide network of regional networks deployed and operated to meet the nation's observation needs while not burdening the national exchequer.