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Director's Message

A Year of Transitions

It is my pleasure to introduce the 2004 Annual Scientific Report for the Atmospheric Technology Division (ATD). The year began with development of a strategic plan. Not a routine 5-year renewal of mission and program, this plan sought to reposition ATD for a transition “Toward an Earth Observing Laboratory”. The process was inclusive, beginning with a detailed examination of science and technology drivers. Approximately 80 staff participated with important contributions having been realized from nearly every employee group. We then employed the services of a blue ribbon External Advisory Committee, which provided technical feedback and novel programmatic concepts. The first draft elicited some unusual reactions such as “It’s too scientific…”, testimony to ATD’s commitment, which is grounded in and driven by scientific disciplines we serve.

Technical achievements were numerous. For starters, “get REAL”, a Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidar, which points the way toward extension of this technology to constituent-detecting differential absorption lidars as well as Doppler air motion sensing. Want to dance? Then try the S-POLKa, featuring the latest in a Ka-band craze for multi-parameter radar investigations of precipitation. You may also wish to visit the piece on CME (Carbon in the Mountains Experiment), an early foray into adaptive array sensing with wireless communications in support of the biogeosciences. Novel twists in APOL’s tunable diode laser sensors have renewed our attempts to further quantify constituent concentrations by our joint photonics - optoelectronics lab with the Atmospheric Chemistry Division. And, ohmygosh, don’t forget the blizzard of cloud physics data produced by new sensors on the C-130 in the AIRS-II experiment.

Nothing surpassed the rising expectations for HIAPER, our nascent Gulfstream V stratospheric jet with a truly global reach. All corners of the Division were involved in the design and development of infrastructure such as the huge new hangar, data and display systems, communication systems, instruments, ports, inlets, and the hiring of operational staff. Scheduled for arrival in December 2004, this platform truly takes ATD into the “earth observing” arena and the “golden age” of research aviation at NCAR.

Don’t forget to visit the successes of all our field programs each of which resulted in a high degree of success, receiving the plaudits of numerous investigators. It was a busy year for S-POL, including the halting but successful transition to S-POLKa during WISP and NAME. The C-130 got a workout in Ocean Waves, and the sounding/profiling systems hit the atmospheric surf with braking waves of the gaseous ilk in Sierra Rotors.

At year end ATD began its transition to a new and more “extensible” organization. Exploration of emerging technologies; conduct of inter-disciplinary science discovery; stimulation of new collaborative and strategic partnerships; and establishment of a sharply focused presence in education and outreach all present new challenges and opportunities. The prospect of five new Development Laboratories will facilitate both leadership and career opportunities in optical sensing, radio remote sensing, global monitoring systems, surface arrays, and airborne flight level sensing. So enjoy the tour. We are proud to present it….and get ready for emergence of the Earth Observing Laboratory in 2005!

– Rit Carbone, Interim Director


Table of Contents | Director's Message | Executive Summary | ATD Achievements
Education and Outreach | Community Service | Awards | Publications | People | ASR 2004 Home

National Center for Atmospheric Research University Corporation for Atmospheric Research National Science Foundation Annual Scientific Report - Home Atmospheric Chemistry Division Advanced Studies Program Atmospheric Chemistry Division Climate and Global Dynamics Division Environmental and Societal Impacts Group High Altitude Observatory Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorological Division Research Applications Program National Center for Atmospheric Research Scientific Computing Division