Atmospheric Remote Sensing: Projects

dalek instrument
Scanning Dopler lidar "Dalek 2" instrument.

WIFP 2, Erie, Colorado. The objectives of the second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) are to characterize complex terrain atmospheric phenomena that impact model accuracy, and to validate and improve weather prediction models. A variety of instruments will be deployed for an 18 month period 2015-2016 to observe mountain wind flow phenomena. CSD provides real-time measurements from two scanning Doppler lidar instruments (Dalek 1 and Dalek 2) deployed to the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) tower for the duration of the experiment to validate NOAA models. A third lidar will be used for short-term case studies. WFIP 2 is a partnership between DOE and DOE National Laboratories (NREL, PNNL, LLNL, Argonne), NOAA and NOAA Research divisions (CSD, PSD, GSD, ARL), CU Boulder, Notre Dame University, NCEP, VAISALA, LEOSPHERE, Lockheed Martin, NCAR, and local wind energy companies.

dalek instrument
Scanning Dopler lidar "Dalek 1" instrument.

XPIA, Erie, Colorado. The Experimental Measurement Campaign (XMC) for Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) Instrument Assessment (XPIA) is a DOE funded study to validate methods to make high fidelity measurements of the three dimensional wind fields of wind farm inflows and wake flows using remote sensing instrumentation. In addition, this study will validate measurements from the Texas Tech University Ka-band radars and the Axys Vindicator lidar. CSD deployed the high-resolution Doppler lidar (HRDL) and two Leosphere 200S acquired by NOAA (Dalek 1 and Dalek 2) instruments at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) tower in March 2015.

inversion over Baseline Reservoir
Inversion along the Colorado Front Range.

FRAPPÉ / DISCOVER-AQ, Colorado. The NSF sponsored Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Éxperiment (FRAPPÉ) and the NASA sponsored Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) mission take place in Summer 2014. Three aircraft, including the NASA P-3 and King Air and the NSF / NCAR C-130 will make observations characterizing the local to regional chemical environment including photochemistry, oxidant and aerosol formation and fate, flow and recirculation patterns and large-scale inflow. Instruments at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) tower will provide both ground-based measurements and vertical profiles of a suite of compounds that contribute to aerosol and ground level ozone. More info...

HALO instrument installation
HALO Photonics lidar instrument rooftop installation in Indianapolis.

INFlux, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indiana Flux Study (INFlux) began in the Spring of 2013 with the installation of a HALO Photonics lidar instrument on a rooftop in Indianapolis. HALO collects high-resolution vertically staring data and takes vertical velocity variance and aerosol backscatter signal strength profiles. A second installation with the high-resolution Doppler lidar (HRDL) instrument occurs in the Spring of 2014. More info...

University of Houston Moody Tower air quality research site
Houston area industry skyline.

DISCOVER-AQ, Houston, Texas. Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER-AQ) will base their third deployment out of Ellington Field in September 2013 and the tunable optical profiler for aerosol and ozone lidar (TOPAZ) will make ground-based measurements. DISCOVER-AQ is a four-year campaign to improve the use of satellites to monitor air quality for public health and environmental benefit. The Summer 2014 deployment is closely coordinated with FRAPPÉ along the Colorado Front Range. More info...

TOPAZ instrument installation
TOPAZ lidar scanner installed atop Angel Peak, NV.

LVOS, Angel Peak, Nevada, 2013. The Las Vegas Ozone Study (LVOS) was designed to assess the influence of long-range transport from Asia and stratosphere-to-troposphere transport (STT) on surface ozone concentrations in Clark County, and to estimate the relative contributions of these processes to high ozone events compared to local ozone production, regional transport from Southern California, and other sources such as wildfires. The tunable optical profiler for aerosol and ozone lidar (TOPAZ) was stationed on a mountain top overlooking Las Vegas during May - June for near daily measurements. More info...

UBWOS site
Trailers at ground site near Horsepool, UT.

E&E UBWOS, Horse Pool, Utah. The Energy and Environment - Uintah Basin Winter Ozone Study (E&E UBWOS) was designed to study the causes of high wintertime ozone observed in the Uintah Basin. Scientists constructed a ground site of instruments in the winters of 2012, 2013, and 2014 to study sources of VOCs, NOx and particles, ozone formation chemistry in areas of enhanced UV radiation from snow cover, unique radical sources (HONO, CH2O, ClNO2) and the role of transport. The high-resolution Doppler lidar (HRDL) and the tunable optical profiler for aerosol and ozone lidar (TOPAZ) are on the ground for this project. More info...

Erie Tower
Boulder Atmospheric Observatory Tower, Erie, CO.

SONNE, Erie, Colorado, 2012. Summer Ozone Near Natural gas Emissions (SONNE) was designed to examine the effects of photochemical processing and characterize the gas-phase composition in the vicinity of oil and natural gas production in Wattenberg Field of the Denver-Julesburg Basin during the summertime. Scientists constructed a ground site of instruments to study VOC emissions and gas-phase composition of the ambient air. More info...


DYNAMO, Indian Ocean, 2011. The Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) observation campaign focuses on the Madden-Julian Oscillation and tropical intraseasonal variability in the tropical Indian Ocean region. The project consists mainly of a sounding-radar array formed by research vessels and island sites and enhanced moorings inside and near the array. The high-resolution Doppler lidar (HRDL) will be aboard the R/V Revelle for this project. More info...

wind turbine photo
National Wind Technology Center wind turbine.

TWICS, south of Boulder, Colorado, 2011. The Turbine Wake and Inflow Characterization Study (TWICS) uses a high-resolution, scanning Doppler lidar (HRDL) to take a detailed look at the atmosphere in front of and behind one of the large turbines at NREL's National Wind Technology Center south of Boulder: a 2.3-megawatt graceful giant that stretches 100 meters (328 feet) to the central hub, with three 45-meter (148-foot) blades. The goal of the project is to study the wake effect of wind turbines for improved efficiency and reduced damage. More info...

research team photo
CalNex research team from the NOAA Twin Otter.

CalNex 2010, Southern California. The goal of the California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) 2010 program is to study the important issues at the nexus of the air quality and climate change problems, and to provide scientific information regarding the trade-offs faced by decision makers when addressing these two inter-related issues. The tunable optical profiler for aerosol and ozone lidar (TOPAZ) was aboard the NOAA Twin Otter for this project. Comprehensive data analysis followed the completion of this project in July 2010. More info...