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College of Arts, Education, & Sciences
Atmospheric Science

ULM Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar

Description:

In 2012, ULM was awarded a $3 million grant through the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOSHEP) to acquire a Doppler weather radar (press release).  In 2015, Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC) was awarded the winning bid to manufacture and erect ULM's weather radar.

The ULM weather radar is a scanning polarimetric Doppler radar operating at S-band with a beam width of 0.95°.  In addition to being an education and research tool for the Department of Atmospheric Science, the radar will fill a low-level NEXRAD coverage gap over northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas (see before and after).  The radar data will be available to the National Weather Service to help serve their mission of protecting life and property in this region, which is important considering the ArkLaMiss is prone to severe weather (see climatology of tornado formation within 100-km of the ULM radar location).

ULM is the only primarily undergraduate institution in the United States with a S-band polarimetric Doppler weather radar.  Our students will receive hands-on instruction at the undergraduate level on radar operation, in addition to advanced radar analysis and interpretation techniques.  This will uniquely position our graduates for jobs that require radar operation and/or analysis skill.

Radar Groundbreaking:

Officials from GOSHEP and ULM, including faculty and students, officially broke ground on the weather radar on May 6, 2015 (press release).  Click here for more photos from the groundbreaking.

Doppler Radar Groundbreaking

 

Current Status (3/11/17):

ULM is in the process of bringing the polarimetric S-band Doppler weather radar fully online.  Our priority is to work out details for data access with the region’s emergency managers and the National Weather Service offices in Shreveport, LA and Jackson, MS.

ULM Radar

Further Information:

For further information on the radar, including data requests or to schedule a tour of the radar site, please contact:

Dr. Todd Murphy
murphy@ulm.edu

or

Dr. Anne Case Hanks
casehanks@ulm.edu

Radar Specifications:

Below are selected specifications comparing the ULM radar with the national radar network.  The ULM radar is considered "88D equivalent."

  ULM Radar WSR-88D
Transmitter Type Magnetron Klystron
Frequency
(Wavelength)
2.7-2.9 GHz
(10 cm @ 2.7 GHz)
2.7-3.0 GHz
(10.71 cm)
Transmit Power 850 kW
(peak power)
750 kW
(peak power)
Pulse Width 0.8-4.0 μs 1.57 & 4.57 μs
Antenna Diameter 8.5 m (28 ft) 8.5 m (28 ft)
Beamwidth 0.95° 1.0°
Gate Spacing ≤ 250 m 250 m

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