The shared mobile atmospheric research and teaching radar: A collaboration to enhance research and teaching

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, Chris Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


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 multi-agency 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 non-precipitating 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1274
Number of pages12
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


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