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A Status Report On A Collaborative Program For Hands On Learning, Severe Weather, And Next Generation Multifunction Radar

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.113.1 - 14.113.19



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Paper Authors

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Mark Yeary University of Oklahoma


Tian-you YU University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Tian-You Yu is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a member of the Atmospheric Radar Research Center (ARRC) at the University of Oklahoma. His education at the University of Nebraska and post-doc experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado provide a unique cross-disciplinary background of atmospheric research. He has many reviewed technical journal and conference papers in the areas of applications of signal processing techniques to radar problems and studies using atmospheric radars. In parallel with his technical strength, he has a passion for delivering high quality education. He has developed and taught several undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Oklahoma.

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Robert Palmer University of Oklahoma


James Sluss University of Oklahoma

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Dr. JAMES J. SLUSS, JR. is Director of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of optical communications and photonics. He has been awarded seven U. S. patents and has authored/co-authored numerous journal and conference publications. He is a member of the IEEE Education Society, IEEE Communications Society, OSA, and ASEE.

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Guifu Zhang University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Guifu Zhang is an associate professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the Atmospheric Radar Research Center on campus. His main interest is to develop remote sensing techniques for understanding and quantifying weather and earth environments. His research and education interests also include wave propagation and scattering in geophysical media subjected to turbulent mixing and filled with hydrometers and other objects. He is currently teaching and researching in the areas of cloud and precipitation microphysics, electromagnetics, radar polarimetry and phased array radar interferometry for weather applications. He has taught many courses and published over 40 journal papers. Prior to joining OU, Dr. Zhang was a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

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Phil Chilson University of Oklahoma


Mike Biggerstaff University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Michael Biggerstaff is the lead scientist behind the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar program, a collaborative effort between the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and the National Severe Storms Laboratory that built and successfully deployed two mobile radars to enhance storm research and to improve meteorological education. Dr. Biggerstaff has received awards in teaching and advising. He received several invitations for short courses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a faculty member in the School of Meteorology and a member of the Atmospheric Radar Research Center (ARRC).

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


General Educational Philosophy and Goals: The future of radar meteorology is critically dependent upon the education and training of students in both the technical and scientific aspects of this sub-discipline of meteorology. Not only should meteorology students be knowledgeable in the use of radar for studies of the atmosphere, but should also be comfortable with topics which may have previously been considered in the realm of engineering. Furthermore, engineering students who choose to work in this exciting field should have enough background in the atmospheric sciences to effectively communicate with the radar system users. Only through such an interdisciplinary approach can true leaps forward in both technology and science be achieved. To guide the development of the team’s university educational radar program [1], the following three overarching goals were created.

≠ Provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary education in weather radar at both the undergraduate and graduate levels

≠ Provide extensive hands-on experience

≠ Combine the talents of faculty members from different departments across campus with those of local scientists and engineers

To implement a curriculum to realize the goals, a taxonomy of learning was employed. In particular, the classic Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning was used. Well known in the educational community, this model is based on six successive levels or categories of learning –knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation – that ascend in difficulty from factual knowledge to evaluation. This model serves as the glue that strengthens the bonds of our pedagogical goals and the team’s curiosity driven class projects. More importantly, it helps to establish a logical framework for a group of interdisciplinary faculty. Scientific Motivations: Severe and hazardous weather such as thunderstorms, downbursts, and tornadoes can take lives in a matter of minutes. For instance, the tornado paths that are depicted in Figure 1 occurred in residential neighborhoods had a duration of approximately 30 to 60 minutes each, and they caused 10’s of millions of dollars in damage. In order to improve detection and forecast of such phenomena using radar, one of the key factors is fast scan capability. Conventional weather radars, such as the ubiquitous NEXRAD (Next Generation Radar developed in the 1980’s), are severely limited by mechanical scanning. Approximately 175 of these radars are in a national network to provide the bulk of our weather information. Under the development for weather applications, the electronically steerable beams provided by the phased array radar at the NWRT can overcome these limitations of the current NEXRAD radar. For this reason, the phased array radar was listed by the National Research Council as one of the primary candidate

Yeary, M., & YU, T., & Palmer, R., & Sluss, J., & Zhang, G., & Chilson, P., & Biggerstaff, M. (2009, June), A Status Report On A Collaborative Program For Hands On Learning, Severe Weather, And Next Generation Multifunction Radar Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5829

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