7.2 The Army Research Laboratory’s Atmospheric Science Center

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 8:45 AM
Room 13AB (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
David I. Knapp, Army Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, NM; and C. M. Hocut, B. T. MacCall, and J. A. Smith

The Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Atmospheric Science Center (ASC) was launched in 2015 to bring together government, industry, and academia for the mission of advancing atmospheric science and its application to critical defense technologies through a collaborative, innovative, research ecosystem. The ASC’s primary focus emphasizes research topics addressing basic research on the dynamics of atmospheric boundary layer processes in mountainous complex terrain and dense urban environments. To facilitate an “open campus” environment where external research partners may work, the ASC developed a high-resolution Meteorological Sensor Array (MSA) as a joint venture with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Jornada Experimental Range (JER), New Mexico State University, Army Test and Evaluation Command White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), and private industry. The first 36-tower fully-instrumented section of the array has been implemented. When complete, the MSA complex will consist of 108 towers outfitted with state-of-the-science in-situ instrumentation at grid resolutions below 1km, instrumented aerial platforms, and remote sensing instrumentation. The 40 km x 14 km MSA domain encompasses a valley (JER) at an elevation of 1300 m, the San Andres Mountains (WSMR) which peak at an elevation of 2500 m, and the Tularosa Basin (WSMR) at an elevation of 1200 m. This configuration provides a unique opportunity to examine diverse climatological complex terrain meteorological phenomena due to varying seasonal background meteorological conditions. The MSA capabilities are designed to address the DoD and civilian atmospheric science community’s need for persistent, high-resolution microscale to meso-gamma scale observational data. In addition to the Army, collaborators in the Air Force, Navy, NOAA, NCAR, DOE, and academia are invited to the ASC to participate in joint research efforts on high-resolution observational experiments, state-of-the-science development and verification of fine-scale atmospheric models and decision aids, improvements to operational weather forecasting capabilities, and development and validation of new atmospheric sensing techniques and technologies.
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