MPD Network Demonstration

22 April 2019 - 19 July 2019

Lead Scientist: Tammy Weckwerth

Observatory: sgp, sgp

The National Center for Atmospheric Research and Montana State University are nearing completion of a National Science Foundation major research instrumentation grant to build a small network of differential absorption lidar (DIAL) instruments for water vapor profiling. A demonstration of the micropulse DIAL (MPD) test network—consisting of five units—will be conducted at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM), Southern Great Plains field site from 22 April to 19 July 2019, coinciding with the peak in the convective storm season. During the demonstration project, the MPDs will be collocated with many other ARM instruments: atmospheric emitted radiance interferometers (AERI), Raman lidar, radiosondes, microwave radiometers (MWR), and Doppler lidars, and will be operated within the range of the Vance Air Force Base WSR-88D and scanning weather radars. We will demonstrate the capability of the MPD test network to operate unattended during the convective storm season. Our goals are to:

  1. Demonstrate the network configuration, communications and long-term operational capabilities of the five MPDs
  2. Compare the MPD water vapor profiles with radiosonde, AERI, and Raman lidar profiles and MWR integrated precipitable water vapor to validate their accuracy
  3. Collect thermodynamic and wind data during the 2019 spring-summer storm season to obtain precursor data on convective weather events
  4. Evaluate the impact of combining MPD and AERI profiles on improving the basic knowledge and forecasting skill of convective weather events via observational analyses and data assimilation efforts.


Scott Spuler
David Turner



Weckworth TM, S Spuler, and DD Turner. 2020. Micropulse Differential Absorption Lidar (MPD) Network Demonstration Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-20-002.


Stillwell R, S Spuler, M Hayman, K Repasky, and C Bunn. 2019. "Demonstration of a combined differential absorption and high spectral resolution lidar for profiling atmospheric temperature." Optics Express, 28(1), 10.1364/OE.379804.

View All Related Publications

Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Ulrike Romatschke GPS water vapor Order Data
Ulrike Romatschke Micro-Pulse DIAL Order Data