Air Quality, Weather & Climate Research
We provide high-quality evaluations of air quality, weather and climate change through advanced meteorological assessments.
ORAU works in partnership with NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence & Diffusion Division (ATDD) to perform advanced weather and climate research. This may involve activities such as flying drones to better understand patterns of unpredictable weather or engineering and maintaining the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Reference Network.
As a part of NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory, ORAU’s atmospheric scientists at ATDD provide engineering expertise on the development and deployment of instrumentation and data analysis for short intensive campaigns to multi-decade, nationwide climate monitoring stations and systems. These innovative systems, such as the Best Airborne Turbulence (BAT) Probe and the Climate Reference Network, offer insight into the implications of climate change and air quality on a nationwide scale.
If you’ve ever questioned why tornadoes are disproportionately deadly in the Southeast, how pollutants affect local air quality, or how to continually improve monitoring and prediction of climate change, then you’re asking the questions ATDD experts are actively seeking answers to in their research.
What is the Climate Reference Network?
The Climate Reference Network is a system of 114 climate monitoring stations scattered throughout the continental United States, with an additional 21 stations in Alaska and two in Hawaii. All of the stations have sensors with the capabilities to read air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, wind speed and solar radiation. Additionally, most of these stations also have sensors to read soil moisture and soil temperature. The data collected through the Climate Reference Network is used to monitor trends in the nation's climate and support climate-impact research, while supporting water resource management.
BAT Probe: Developing Turbulence Measurement
The “Best Airborne Turbulence” Probe was developed by NOAA and ORAU experts at ATDD, along with Airborne Research Australia, to advance airborne measurement of turbulence to a smaller, less expensive and less intrusive aircraft. Since the invention of the BAT Probe in the 1990s, university research departments and smaller agencies, such as ATDD, have had the capability to operate programs measuring air-surface exchange of heat, moisture, greenhouse gases and more. These exchanges have fundamental influence on weather, climate and air quality. At least 10 groups in the U.S., Europe, Australia and South America have utilized the BAT Probe for research. Similar turbulence probes are now being applied to drone aircrafts to further expand the scope of airborne turbulence measurement.
- Dobosy, R.J., D.S. Sayres, C. Healy, E. J. Dumas, M. Heuer, J. Kochendorfer, B. Baker, and J. Anderson, 2017: Estimating random uncertainty in airborne flux measurements over Alaskan tundra: Update on the flux-fragment method. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 34, 1807-1822.
- Sayres, D.S., R.J. Dobosy, C. Healy, E. Dumas, J. Kochendorfer, J. Munster, J. Wilkerson, B. Baker, and J. Anderson 2017: Arctic regional methane fluxes by ecotope as derived using eddy covariance from a low-flying aircraft. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, 8619‑8633.
- Dumas, E.J., R.J. Dobosy, D.L. Senn, and C.B. Baker, D.S. Sayres, C. Tuozzolo, M. Rivero, N. Allen, C. Healy, J. Munster, J. Anderson, 2014: Airborne measurements of CO2 and CH4 fluxes over the Alaskan North Slope using the Flux Observations of Carbon from an Airborne Laboratory (FOCAL) system. NOAA Technical Memorandum OAR ARL-267, Oak Ridge, TN.
- Leise, J.A., J.M. Masters, and R.J. Dobosy, 2013: Wind measurement from aircraft, 1993: annotated and updated 2013. NOAA Technical Memorandum OAR ARL-266.
- Hicks, Bruce B., W. J. Callahan, W. R. Pendergrass III, and Ronald J. Dobosy 2012: Urban Turbulence in Space and in Time. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 51: 205–218.
- Hicks, B., Novakovskaia, E., Dobosy, R., Pendergrass III, W., Callahan, W. 2013: Temporal and spatial aspects of velocity variance in the urban surface roughness layer. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 52: 668-681.
- Vellinga, O., Dobosy, R., Dumas, E., Gioli, B., Elbers, J., Hutjes, R. 2013: Calibration and quality assurance of flux observations from a small research aircraft. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 30: 161–181.
- Dobosy, R., Dumas, E., Senn, D., Baker, B., Sayres, D., Witinski, M., Healy, C., Munster, J., Anderson, J. 2013: Calibration and Quality Assurance of an Airborne Turbulence Probe in an Aeronautical Wind Tunnel. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 30(2), 182-196.
Research Group Manager, ATDDExpertise: Wind tunnel modeling, atmospheric and soil measurement in tornado research, wind energy studies, air pollutant measurement
- Investigator: Environmental and atmospheric experiments for DOE, National Weather Service, National Park Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Presenter: Environmental sciences programs for K-12 students
- Project Manager: East Tennessee 2017 Total Solar Eclipse atmospheric testing and measurement