SMART-Radar Team Wins NSF Major Research Instrumentation Award

SMART-R Team and Vehicles

The NSSL and University of Oklahoma Shared Mobile Atmospheric and Teaching Radar (SMART-radar) team was awarded the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Award to upgrade one of the mobile C-band radars with dual-polarimetric capability. SR-2 will be taken apart during Fall-Winter 2008 and rebuilt with the ability to perform simultaneous transmit/receive dual-polarization measurements. The radar is expected to be fully functional again in time for the proposed VORTEX-2 project beginning in April 2009.

Background: The goals of the MRI Program are to: support the acquisition, through purchase, upgrade or development, of major state-of-the-art instrumentation for research, research training and integrated research/education activities at organizations; improve access to and increase use of modern research and research training instrumentation by scientists, engineers and graduate and undergraduate students; enable academic departments or cross-departmental units to create well-equipped learning environments that integrate research with education; foster the development of the next generation of instrumentation for research and research training; and promote partnerships between academic researchers and private sector instrument developers.

Significance: Radars with dual polarization capabilities (radio waves that are sent out both horizontally and vertically) can more accurately determine precipitation types and amounts.