NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Researchers at the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology now have a new, mobile radar to study tornadoes and other rapidly-forming meteorological events.
The mobile radar cost $1.25 million, but a grant from the National Science Foundation helped pay for it. The truck-mounted Doppler radar will provide rapid, high-resolution scans of weather phenomena.
"Advanced technology and affordability have been combined to make this the first system that will be able to achieve a fully polarimetric image of an entire severe storm from top to bottom and everything else within range of the storm in less than 30 seconds," said OU meteorology professor Howard Bluestein.
Bluestein says the mobile radar will help researchers better understand a tornado's relationship to its parent storm and tornado formation.
"This mobile radar will be a great addition to the hands-on learning experience that our meteorology and engineering students are already accustomed to receiving," said Robert Palmer, ARRC director and meteorology professor. "With the advanced design and flexibility of this new mobile radar, the students and faculty will be able to rapidly design, implement and actually use their ideas in the field to observe severe storms. The educational opportunities are tremendous!"