Research Tools: Testbeds

Collaborative testbed projects shorten the transition time from meteorological research to useful operational forecasting tools. NSSL hosts the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed and the NOAA National Weather Radar Testbed. NSSL researchers also collaborate with the Developmental Testbed Center, the GOES-R Proving Ground and the NOAA Hydrometeorology Testbed.

Hazardous Weather Testbed

NOAA's Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) is jointly managed by NSSL, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the National Weather Service Norman Weather Forecast Office (OUN) on the University of Oklahoma campus inside the National Weather Center. The HWT is designed to accelerate the transition of promising new meteorological insights and technologies into advances in forecasting and warning for hazardous mesoscale weather events throughout the United States.

Video: The Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Experiment

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Each spring, the National Weather Center hosts an experiment that brings together the top weather minds in forecasting, research, and academia to test new technologies that will become part of the weather field in the future. Watch on Youtube

National Weather Radar Testbed

NOAA's National Weather Radar Testbed (NWRT) is a dual-polarized, phased array radar (PAR) being tested and evaluated in Norman, Oklahoma. The radar, dubbed the Advanced Technology Demonstrator, or ATD, is the first full-scale, S-band, dual-polarization phased array radar built from the ground up and designed specifically for use as a weather radar.

The NWRT was established in 2003 to demonstrate the potential of a multi-function phased-array radar (MPAR) to simultaneously perform aircraft tracking, wind profiling, and weather surveillance. The original SPY-1A phased array radar was decommissioned in 2016, and the ATD installed in its place.

The advanced capabilities of the NWRT could lead to better warnings for severe weather.

Bite-Sized Science: Hands-On Phased Array Radar

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PARISE is the Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment. The NOAA National Severe Storms Lab bring in forecasters from the NWS to have them work archived cases simulated in real-time. The experiment helps researchers determine what benefits—like extended warning lead-time—phased array radar could provide forecasters. Watch on Youtube

Testbed Partnerships

Developmental Testbed Center

Tools developed by the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) are used in HWT Spring Experiments to help evaluate model performance.

GOES-R Proving Ground

The Proving Ground is a project in which simulated GOES-R products can be tested and evaluated before the GOES-R satellite is launched into space. Thunderstorm-related products are tested each year during the Spring Experiment in the NOAA HWT. The Proving Ground is a collaborative effort between the GOES-R Program Office, NOAA Cooperative Institutes, NASA, NWS Weather Forecast Offices, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and NOAA Testbeds across the country.

Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT)

NSSL partners with the Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) to conduct research on precipitation and weather conditions that can lead to flooding, and foster transition of scientific advances and new tools into forecasting operations. HMT's outputs support efforts to balance water resource demands and flood control in a changing climate.

Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART)

DART is a software environment that makes it easy for NSSL to explore a variety of data assimiliation methods and observations with different numerical models. It is also designed to facilitate the combination of assimilation algorithms, models, and real (as well as synthetic) observations to allow increased understanding of all three. DART is located at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.