CASA Dallas Fort Worth Urban Demonstration Network: A Living Lab for Innovations in Severe Weather Warning and Response

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 2:45 PM
221A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Brenda J. Philips, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and V. Chandrasekar, M. Thoerner, T. McClung, A. Bajaj, D. J. Seo, C. League, and J. Brotzge

Living Labs are a user-centered approach for transitioning research into practice. They are characterized by the involvement of users, researchers, and industry as co-creators of new technologies and policies; real-world experimentation to understand societal complexity and context; and an organizational structure, typically a public private partnership, where innovation takes place. The idea was conceived at MIT and is now practiced in the US and is especially popular in Europe where over 100 Living Labs exist around different technologies.

CASA (Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere) Engineering Research Center, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the NWS Office of Science and Technology is developing a Living Lab environment that simultaneously addresses the science questions and real-life implementation challenges of meeting the severe weather information needs in urban areas. The CASA Dallas Fort Worth Urban Demonstration Network researches and demonstrates the value of short-wavelength, polarimetric, networked radar observations for high spatial and temporal resolution severe weather warnings and forecasts, user decision-making, and response. The end-to-end network infrastructure includes CASA X-band radars and other sensors, communications, high-resolution products, and data dissemination to decision makers and the public. Our users and stakeholders include NWS forecasters, emergency managers, health care workers, media, and industry. As a Living Lab, researchers, users and stakeholders establish and evaluate research and innovation goals, experimentation and demonstration take place during real-time weather events, and a multi-sector partnership among academic, private, federal, municipal partners financially supports costs of network. After reviewing key features of Living Labs and the DFW Urban Demonstration Network, an urban flash flood and tornadic event from the 2014 DFW storm season will be used to illustrate how how our process works.