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NSSL Weather Radar Research Highlights (ROOTS)


USWB's NSSP (1959-1963)

NSSL Years

Kessler (1964-86), Lhermitte (1964-67 )

Kessler and Lhermitte were principal scientists who honed their interest in Doppler Radar during their tenure at AFCRL (Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories). The AFCRL had a premier weather radar research group for decades beginning in the 1950s. Kessler and Lhermitte found common interests in observing weather with Doppler radar and both joined NSSL during its formation in 1964. Kessler arrived in Jan and Lhermitte arrived in December of 1964, although I suspect Lhermitte was already giving instructions to Dale and other technicians on the construction of a 3 cm pulsed-Doppler radar. Lhermitte’s BAMs article in 1966 set the parameters for the development of Doppler radars for observation of severe storms (i.e., Doppler radars at wavelengths at 3 cm for vertical soundings, and 10 cm for surveillance). The signal integrator was developed by Lhermitte and Sirmans and it provided quantitative estimates of reflectivity; this technology was t hen transferred to the NWS.