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Brian D. Hirth, John L. Schroeder, W. Scott Gunter, and Jerry G. Guynes

Abstract

Observations of the wake generated by a single utility-scale turbine and collected by the Texas Tech University Ka-band mobile research radars on 27 October 2011 are introduced. Remotely sensed turbine wake observations using lidar technology have proven effective; however, the presented radar capabilities provide a larger observational footprint and greater along-beam resolution than current scanning lidar systems. Plan-position indicator and range–height indicator scanning techniques are utilized to produce various wake analyses. Preliminary analyses confirm radial velocity and wind speed deficits immediately downwind of the turbine hub to be on the order of 50%. This introduction lays the groundwork for more in-depth analyses of wake structure and evolution using the Texas Tech University Ka-band radar systems, including wake meandering and wake-to-wake interaction in large wind park deployments.

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Michael I. Biggerstaff, Louis J. Wicker, Jerry Guynes, Conrad Ziegler, Jerry M. Straka, Erik N. Rasmussen, Arthur Doggett IV, Larry D. Carey, John L. Schroeder, and Chris Weiss

A group of scientists from three universities across two different states and from one federal research laboratory joined together to build and deploy two mobile C-band Doppler weather radars to enhance research and promote meteorological education. This 5-yr project led to the development of the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar coalition that built the first mobile C-band Doppler weather radar in the United States and also successfully deployed the first mobile C-band dual-Doppler network in a landfalling hurricane. This accomplishment marked the beginning of an era in which high temporal and spatial resolution precipitation and dual-Doppler wind data over mesoscale (~100 km) regions can be acquired from mobile ground-based platforms during extreme heavy rain and high-wind events.

In this paper, we discuss the rationale for building the mobile observing systems, highlight some of the challenges that were encountered in creating a unique multiagency coalition, provide examples of how the SMART radars have contributed to research and education, and discuss future plans for continued development and management of the radar facility, including how others may use the radars for their own research and teaching programs.

The capability of the SMART radars to measure winds in nonprecipitating environments, to capture rapidly evolving, short-lived, small-scale tornadic circulations, and to sample mesoscale regions with high spatial resolution over broad regions of heavy rainfall is demonstrated. Repeated successful intercepts provide evidence that these radars are capable of being used to study a wide range of atmospheric phenomena.

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