Monique Baskin visits ATDD

March, 2018

On March 1, 2018, ATDD hosted a climate briefing for Monique Baskin, Climate Portfolio Policy Advisor in OAR’s Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation.

The goal of the briefing was to highlight ATDD’s climate research and development activities for the last five years.

ATDD Director Dr. Bruce Baker provided an overview of the climate research and engineering efforts. Mark Hall, Senior Engineer for US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) provided an overview of the history of USCRN and of the site installations and maintenance program.

Other presentations:

  • Dr. Tilden Meyers on past and present collaborations between ATDD and other OAR labs with future directions for research and development;
  • Dr. John Kochendorfer, Precipitation Testbed studies and results;
  • Dr. Tim Wilson, USCRN Soil Moisture Testbed;
  • and Dr. Praveena Krishnan, Intercomparison of Land Surface Temperatures.

Ms. Baskin also toured ATDD’s Surface Energy Budget Network (SEBN) site at Chestnut Ridge (pictured on the right), the USCRN site at ATDD, and, USCRN engineering research and development, and maintenance facilities.

Photos from facility tour.

Ms. Baskin visits ATDD SEBN site

Ms. Baskins is briefed on the
Surface Energy Budget Network site

ATDD extends welcome to Dr. Kelsey Ellis, UTK Visiting Scientist

February, 2018

Dr. Ellis will spend a few months working at ATDD while on sabbatical from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), where she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and has research interests in natural hazards (i.e., tropical cyclone climatology, tornadoes climatology, risk and vulnerability analyses, historical reconstructions, and spatial climatologies) and human-environment interactions (i.e., microclimates, land use-atmosphere interaction, climate-suicide relationships, and urban microenvironments).

While at ATDD, she will work with Drs. Bruce Baker, Temple Lee, Michael Buban, and others on research and analyses of datasets obtained during the recent Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment in the Southeast U.S. (VORTEX-SE) campaign. They will explore new ways to use these datasets and will also explore joint funding opportunities. In addition, Kelsey will work with the group on analyses of datasets obtained during the Land-Atmosphere Feedback Experiment (LAFE), focusing on analyses of remotely-sensed land surface data from aircraft operated during the experiment. These, as well as work on other research topics, will strengthen collaborations between UTK and ATDD.

For more information on Dr. Ellis, please visit her UTK web page.

Dr. Kelsey Ellis is greeted by Dr. LaToya Myles

Dr. Kelsey Ellis is greeted by Dr. LaToya Myles

ESRL and ARL scientists meet in Boulder, Colorado

January, 2018

Scientists from Headquarters Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) and the Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD – a division of ARL) met with Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) scientists in Boulder, Colorado, January 17-18, 2018 for a collaborative strategy session. There were three primary goals for this meeting:

  • to exchange information on current air chemistry research at each of the labs;
  • to discuss short-term and long-term plans to utilize air chemistry research to support NOAA core missions and educate NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) management about the importance of air chemistry research to NOAA’s missions;
  • and to explore potential opportunities for collaboration (i.e. joint projects, proposals, interactions with OAR programs).

Following the presentation of lab overviews to the entire group, participants divided into three subgroups to participate in concurrent sessions related to their respective areas of specialty:

  • air chemistry,
  • dispersion,
  • and Climate Reference Network/boundary layer processes.

Each of the three topic areas had its own full agenda, complete with a lengthy slate of five-minute “lightning talks” on projects, personal interests, and suggested collaborations, followed by more in-depth, focused discussions. The entire group then reconvened Thursday afternoon to hear a summary of each working group’s interactions and to discuss strategies and next steps.

Discussions are continuing about the potential collaborative topics identified in the meeting.

For more information on ESRL research please visit their website.

The ARL website can be accessed here.

ESRL, ARL and ATDD group picture

group photo in Boulder, Colorado
(click on image to enlarge)

Air Pollution over a city

Air pollution within the boundary layer over a city

NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science personnel
meet with ATDD scientists

October, 2017

On Thursday, 5 October, scientists at ATDD hosted a visit by a group of personnel representing NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). The meeting was held to explore potential collaborative research between NCAS members and ATDD. Attending from NCAS were Dr. Vernon Morris, Director and Principal Investigator and Ricardo Sakai, Research Associate from Howard University, and Dr. Jose Fuentes from Penn State University. Kafayat Olayinka, a graduate student from Howard University, and Zachary Moon, a graduate student from Penn State, were also in attendance. Presentations were made by staff from both NCAS and ATDD to provide background on current research activities and personnel involved. Part of the visit included a short field trip to Knox County Radio Control field to demonstrate the DJI 1000, one of the drones in ATDD’s UAS fleet. Potential collaborative research projects were discussed with follow-up discussions planned in the near future.

Group photo of NCAS and ATDD personnel

NCAS and ATDD personnel

Back row: Dr. LaToya Myles, Zachary Moon, Dr. Rick Saylor, Dr. Bruce Baker, Dr. Temple Lee, Dr. Michael Buban, Dr. Nebila Lichiheb, Edward Dumas, Dr. Praveena Krishnan, Kafayat Olayinka

Front row: Dr. Ricardo Sakai, Dr. Tilden Meyers, Dr. Jose Fuentes, Dr. Vernon Morris

For more information about the NCAS program, visit their website.

ATDD UAS in-flight

ATDD UAS In-flight

Ed Dumas and Dr. Jose Fuentes with Octocopter

Ed Dumas, ATDD UAS Pilot, shows Dr. Jose Fuentes a new location for the iMet-XQ temperature, relative humidity, and pressure sensor on the DJI S-1000 small UAS

ATDD-UTK identify opportunities for new partnerships

September, 2017

On September 12, 2017, ATDD and the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) held a science workshop at the Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus and Research Park. The goal of the workshop was to foster collaborations that advance research, technology, and education in weather, climate and air chemistry. Dr. Bruce Baker (ATDD Director), Dr. Stacey Patterson (UTK Interim Vice President of Research, Outreach, and Engagement) and Dr. Robert Nobles (UTK Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement) hosted the workshop. University researchers and ATDD scientists delivered research presentations and engaged in round-table discussions to identify opportunities for new partnerships. This workshop is a first step under the recent Memorandum of Agreement between ATDD and UTK.

Attendees to ATDD-UTK meeting

Attendees to ATDD-UTK meeting

ATDD UAS in-flight

ATDD UAS In-flight

Bruce Baker, Stacey Patterson, Robert Nobles

From left to right:
Dr. Bruce Baker, Dr. Stacey Patterson,
Dr. Robert Nobles

ATDD partners with local schools to document
environmental data during solar eclipse event

August, 2017

ARL/ATDD in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was located in the path of totality for the solar eclipse on August 21. Students from Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge went on a field trip to Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee, where scientists and engineers deployed a meteorological tower. The instruments and sensors measured solar radiation, wind speed and direction, air temperature, and other variables. A similar suite of equipment and sensors was set up at on a local farm near Philadelphia, Tennessee. Data collected during the eclipse is available in .csv format.
Average 5 minute data
1 second data

The solar eclipse “totality” began at 2:32 p.m. and lasted 2 minutes and 3 seconds (give or take a couple of seconds).

Photo of eclipse watchers at Roane State CC

Eclipse watchers at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee

You can read more about the eclipse here.
Top of page

Eclipse seen from Bowling Green, KY

Eclipse as seen in Bowling Green, KY
(click on image to enlarge)

Credit: Ron Leeper, Research Associate
Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites
North Carolina State University

Science Students get “blown away” in ATDD wind tunnel facility

July, 2017

Please note that all links in this article are to websites outside the .gov domain and open in separate pages

On July 20, 2017, ATDD hosted the Wind Energy team from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/ORAU Science Academy. They visited the ATDD wind tunnel facility to have their model wind turbines tested. The team was comprised of nine students from eight different Appalachia states. This is the seventh year ATDD has participated in this annual event.

The Academy is a week long, in-residence camp that ran from July 16 to July 21.

The Wind Energy team was lead by Lauren Wilmoth, a STEM and Honors Biology teacher at Oak Ridge High School, and Mark Rubin, a middle school teacher from Maryland.

The students pictured below are:

Front row left-to-right
Celia Torres Lopez (VA), Belle Beckner (SC), Madyson Cahill (OH), James Click (WV), and Anthony Tipton (KY)

Back row left-to-right
Makenze Hurtubise (NY), Gavin Awtry (NC), Sidney Vass (TN), and Ziah Kennedy (NC)

The Wind Energy team

Read the full article here.

You can read more about the 2017 ARC/ORAU Science Academy here.

A flickr album of photos of the week long event can be viewed here.

Wind Energy team members

Wind Energy team members
(click on image to enlarge)

VORTEX-SE 2017 Field Campaign

May, 2017

ATDD participated in the second VORTEX-SE Field Campaign March – April 2017. Temple Lee, Michael Buban and Ed Dumas had the lead on the Intensive Operating Periods (IOP). During this time ATDD had teams releasing radiosondes, manning a tethered balloon and obtaining vertical profiles using small unmanned aircraft used to measure low level temperature and relative humidity . All of these measurements and measurements from other participating scientists will be used as input into a numerical model to better understand the influence of terrain, land surface, and boundary layer heterogeneity on tornadic storm development.

More information about this year’s field campaign can be found in a couple of articles with links below by Christina Edwards of WHNT19 news in Huntsville, Alabama.

POSTCARD FROM THE FIELD: Probing the Mysteries of Severe Weather

Probing the Mysteries of Severe Weather
(click on image to view entire postcard)

Field of wind sensors and a weather balloon

Field of wind sensors and a weather balloon at the
Severe Weather Institute Radar and Lighting Lab, U of A Huntsville

Image of SDAA Operating Area

SDAA Operating Area
(click on image to enlarge)

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