Develop new calibration and testing facilities, including testbed capabilities, for the community, either in collaboration with other agencies or specifically for NSF-supported research.
The most prominent test-bed development area in EOL is the Front Range Observational Network Testbed (FRONT), which is still evolving and has substantial potential to serve community needs. However, the need for calibration facilities for water vapor sensors is also particularly important to a broad range of sensors operated by EOL. In addition, there is a need for an altitude-chamber / wind tunnel test facility to which EOL would have access, perhaps operated by EOL. Associated with this need, is the need for more attention to measurement science: calibration, uncertainty characterization, and documentation of instrument characteristics.
FRONT integrates Colorado State University’s (CSU) CHILL and EOL’s S-Pol radar systems to streamline engineering development and operations for expanded science, research and education opportunities. FRONT will provide the scientific community with opportunities to conduct target-of-opportunity scientific field experiments; maintain a long-term mesoscale test bed for assessing instruments, data quality procedures, sensor integration, numerical models, networking capabilities and derived products; provide a framework for local field campaigns; and provide hands-on education.
FRONT’s goals are to establish common system software, data formats and data processing environment; share common receiver and system control hardware; and remote-control both radars for unattended operations. The near-term deliverable is S-Pol’s move to a new home-base east of I-25 to create a world class dual-Doppler, dual dual-polarization network, with fully available S-Pol functionality. S-Pol’s move will occur after its return from the DYNAMO field campaign in Spring 2012 (see Imperative II).
In FY 2011 several improvements that will aid FRONT’s goals were made in preparation for S-PolKa's deployment to the Maldives in support of DYNAMO, including, new remote operations capabilities, which includes remote restart of the system should it stall. Operators can also now set radar scans, and hardware was purchased for the centralized data archiving. The site lease for the final FRONT location in Firestone, CO has been signed, and in early FY 2012 EOL will procure appropriate zoning permits to improve and build on the site to support the radar at FRONT.
A panoramic view of the FRONT site.