Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy



ESCAPE C-band Radar Deployment

27 June 2022 - 30 September 2022

Lead Scientist: Pavlos Kollias

Observatory: amf

The National Science Foundation supports a large field experiment entitled: “Experiment of Sea Breeze Convection, Aerosols, Precipitation and Environment (ESCAPE)” in Houston, Texas, during the summer of 2022. The overarching scientific objective of ESCAPE is to collect and analyze observations of the fundamental process-level coupling between convective cloud vertical motions (kinematics), microphysics, and precipitation production across a full range of cloud environments (including background aerosol conditions) and meteorological regimes, throughout their lifecycle. The ESCAPE scientific objectives are well aligned with the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) funded TRacking Aerosols Convection interactions ExperRiment (TRACER) field campaign scheduled for the period from October 1st, 2021, through 30 September 2022 with an Intensive Observation Period (IOP) from 01 June through 30 September 2022 in Houston TX.

The ESCAPE field campaign has an airborne and a ground-based component. The airborne campaign is scheduled from May 25 to June 30th, 2022, and includes the NCAR C-130 and the SPEC Learjet. The ground-based component includes three mobile X-band radars (two from the Univ. of Oklahoma and one from Stony Brook Univ.), one mobile Doppler lidar truck (from Brookhaven National Laboratory) and one transportable C-band radar from Colorado State Univ. The ground-based component will take place from May 25 to June 30 for the mobile trucks and from May 25 to the end of the TRACER IOP (end of September 2022) for the C-band radar.

The C-band is a state-of-the-art, dual-polarization radar system suitable for the study of large-scale precipitation systems with an effective range of 120 km. In coordination with the DOE ARM facility, we plan to deploy the C-band radar at the AMF1 location at the La Porte, TX, airport. During the proposed IOP, the CSU C-band will be used to track convective cells. It is only through tracking and measurement of individual convective cells that key processes controlling their properties can be inferred from kinematic and microphysical structures that may be time and space lagged with respect to the dynamical and microphysical interactions that act over time in flowing air. 

The ESCAPE C-band sampling strategy and experimental methods and nature of the measurements to be made are like those of the CSAPR2. Both radars will be guided by an adaptive sampling algorithm developed by the Stony Brook Univ. radar science group. The two radar systems (CSAPR2 and CSU C-band) are deployed in different locations with a baseline of 30 km. This is expected to extend the overall sampling area and increase our chances of collecting a continuous record of adaptive sampling-based convective cell observations. More importantly, we propose to coordinate the sampling strategies between the two radars. This is expected to increase the quality of the observations if the two radars sample the same convective cell from different directions.


V. Chandrasekar
Michael Jensen


  • Parent Campaign
  • Sibling Campaign


Dorsey K, C Ireland, R Jundt, B Mundy, and R Stafford. 2022. 2021 Annual Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM User Facility. doe-sc-arm-21-023. 10.2172/1843842.

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