NOAA & ARM Facilities and Instruments

The PECAN operations center will be located in Hays, Kansas and will also serve as the home base for mobile and fixed ground-based operations.

For information on all PECAN instruments visit this site:

The NOAA WP-3D Orion research is one of the world's premier research aircraft, and will be flying during PECAN operations. The P-3 has been used in a wide variety of national and international meteorological, oceanographic and environmental research programs in addition to its widely known use in hurricane research and reconnaissance. This versatile turboprop aircraft is equipped with an unprecedented variety of scientific instrumentation, radars, and recording systems for both in-situ and remote sensing measurements of the atmosphere, the earth and its environment. Read more about the NOAA P-3 aircraft
Mobile Radar Array
PECAN will deploy an array of mobile radars and remain fixed as the target weather systems move and evolve within the array coverage. These ground-based mobile radars will be used to obtain MCS-scale and storm-scale observations, and to estimate microphysical properties. Dual-Doppler winds will be derived from these radars or in combination with previously mentioned fixed radar systems. The mobile radars will be pre-deployed either into the path of an MCS or into a region with a significant probability of elevated CI (depending on objectives of a given IOP). The mobile radars will be deployed in an array configuration that provides an optimal balance of areal and 3-D volume coverage, spatial resolution, and accuracy of synthesized multi-Doppler winds. Several of the mobile radars and/or their Scout vehicles will be equipped with mobile mesonet surface state instruments.
NSSL’s NOAA- X-Pol (NOXP) dual-polarized radar is a mobile Doppler radar that operates on a 3 cm wavelength (X-Band). This wavelength is more sensitive to smaller particles than the longer wavelengths used by NOAA NWS (NEXRAD) radars, and is capable of detecting tiny water droplets or snowflakes. The NOXP scout vehicle is a minivan used to find suitable locations to deploy the radar. It will also have a roof mounted instrument rack to measure atmospheric variables 3m above the ground. Read more about the NOXP→
Mobile Mesonets
NSSL will deploy two mobile “mesonet vehicles” (four additional deployed by CSWR) that will drive back and forth continuously when feasible. Mobile mesonets are minivans outfitted with an instrument rack to measure atmospheric variables 3m above the ground. This dense yet inexpensive surface mesonet will be concentrated around the ground-based mobile radar array. NSSL will supply two vehicles to launch balloons with instruments, or sondes, attached to fill potential gaps in measurements. The sondes will measure temperature, pressure, relative humidity and winds as the balloon rises into the atmosphere. Read more about the mobile mesonets→
PECAN Integrated Sounding Array (PISA)
Unique to the experiment is an observation strategy that uses PECAN Integrated Sounding Array (PISA) stations to provide temperature, humidity, and wind profiles about every five minutes. The Department of Energy will provide six out of the eight ground-based upward-looking infrared spectrometer instruments. Dave Turner, NSSL scientist and PECAN steering committee member, will coordinate the operation of these instruments, which will provide a consistent and uniform sampling of the thermodynamic structure of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface across the PECAN domain, as well as how it evolves during the experiment. Read more about the PISAs
University of Oklahoma/NSSL Collaborative Lower Atmospheric Mobile Profiling System (CLAMPS)
NSSL has a mobile, trailer-based boundary layer profiling facility using commercially available sensors. CLAMPS contains a Doppler lidar, a multi-channel microwave radiometer (MWRP), and an Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI). CLAMPS meets a NOAA/NWS operational and research need for profiles of temperature, humidity, and winds near the surface of the earth. CLAMPS will also have the ability to launch weather balloons and measure surface weather. Read more about CLAMPS→
ARM Raman Lidar
The Raman Lidar (RL) is an active, ground-based laser remote sensing instrument that measures vertical profiles of water-vapor mixing ratio and several cloud- and aerosol-related quantities. Lidar (light detection and ranging) is the optical analog of radar, using pulses of laser radiation to probe the atmosphere. This system is fully computer automated and will run unattended for many days following a brief (~5-minute) startup period. Read more about the Raman Lidar
ARM Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI)
The AERI is a ground-based instrument that measures the downwelling infrared radiance from the Earth’s atmosphere. These upward-looking surface observations can be used to obtain vertical profiles of tropospheric temperature and water vapor, as well as measurements of trace gases (e.g., ozone, carbon monoxide, and methane) and downwelling infrared spectral signatures of clouds and aerosols. Read more about AERI
ARM Balloon-borne Sounding System [Radiosonde]
The balloon-borne sounding system provides in situ measurements (vertical profiles) of both the thermodynamic state of the atmosphere and the wind speed and direction. During some field campaigns, sonde operations from multiple stations around a central location with baseline measurements, like a mobile facility, can provide important constraints for model simulations. Read more about the ARM Balloon-borne Sounding Systems
ARM 915 MHz Wind Profiler
The 915 MHZ WP is a long-wavelength Doppler radar which detects the backscattered signals from turbulence-induced refractive index variations. The profiler thus tracks the motion of the turbulent eddies which drift with the mean flow, providing a measurement of the mean wind velocity.
ARM Doppler Lidar
The Doppler Lidar (DL) is an active remote sensing instrument that provides range- and time-resolved measurements of radial velocity and attenuated backscatter. The principle of operation is similar to radar in that pulses of energy are transmitted into the atmosphere; the energy scattered back to the transceiver is collected and measured as a time-resolved signal. From the time delay between each outgoing transmitted pulse and the backscattered signal, the distance to the scatterer is inferred. Read more about the ARM Doppler Lidar
ARM C-band Precipitation Radar (C-SAPR)
The C-SAPR is a C-band dual-polarization Doppler weather radar manufactured by ARC, Inc. The C-SAPR operates in a simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) mode, meaning that the transmit signal is split so that power is transmitted on both horizontal and vertical polarizations at the same time. The C-SAPR also has the ability to transmit on a single polarization (either horizontal or vertical) and measure linear depolarization ratio (LDR). Read more about the C-SAPR
ARM Aerosol Observing System
The aerosol observing system (AOS) is the primary Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) platform for in situ aerosol measurements at the surface. The principal measurements are those of the aerosol absorption and scattering coefficients as a function of the particle size and radiation wavelength. Additional measurements include those of the particle number concentration, size distribution, hygroscopic growth, and inorganic chemical composition. Read more about the AOS
Ka-band Scanning ARM Cloud Radar (KASACR)
ARM's scanning cloud radars are fully coherent dual-frequency, dual-polarization Doppler radars mounted on a common scanning pedestal. Each pedestal includes a Ka-band radar (2kW peak power) and the deployment location determines whether the second radar is a W-band (1.7 kW peak power) or X-band (20 kW peak power). Read more about KASACR