690 SPARC: A Mobile Facility for a New Generation of Atmospheric Research

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Timothy J. Wagner, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and N. Smith, F. Best, E. W. Eloranta, W. F. Feltz, and E. Olson

There is a continual need to better understand the atmosphere in order to improve society's response to high-impact phenomena like severe weather and climate change. Much of the data that is necessary to gain this better understanding comes from locations that are currently underserved by existing observation networks. To this end, the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has designed and built SPARC: the SSEC Portable Atmospheric Research Center. SPARC is a mobile platform, housed in a trailer and towed by a pickup truck, capable of deploying in a variety of conditions to support research in fields as diverse as air quality, radiation, and weather.

SPARC contains a variety of instruments capable of in situ or remote observations of the earth's surface and the troposphere. The remote instruments include the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI), capable of retrieving thermodynamic profiles of the boundary; the High Spectral Resolution lidar, which measures backscatter and depolarization while accounting for aerosol and molecular scattering in its measurements; and a Doppler lidar wind profiler capable of measuring both horizontal and vertical winds. In addition, in situ observations of the atmosphere are obtained from a surface meteorology station and a radiosonde system.

To date, SPARC has participated in two large-scale field campaigns: the Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Experiment (FRAPPÉ) and the Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) project. Highlights from the unique dataset generated by the combined instrumentation of SPARC will be presented and future collaborative opportunities will be discussed.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner