Radar gift to enhance weather research and education at Colorado State University

Note to Reporters: Story and photos at CSU news site, Source: http://col.st/mh4Cg

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO – Colorado State University and its Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering have announced a gift of a customized C-band radar from Vaisala, the global leader in environmental and industrial measurements.

The gift will allow scientists at CSU to enhance research, education and the student experience in radar remote sensing and weather observations. Vaisala, a market leader in dual-polarization radar, manufactured the radar in Finland specifically for CSU’s use.

“Vaisala has collaborated with CSU in the past, and we are pleased to donate a brand new C-band radar to help improve atmospheric science research and enhance educational opportunities for students,” said Vaisala Inc. president and CSU alumnus Scott Sternberg (Physics ’90).

New opportunities with C-band

“C-band radars are popular in Europe, and they use a higher frequency than the ones in the U.S. – they’re smaller and more agile, making them easier to deploy,” said V. “Chandra” Chandrasekar, professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering. Typically radars in the United States have used S-band frequency.

Chandra is respected around the world for his work in radar systems. He has made significant contributions to weather radar engineering and applications for CSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Atmospheric Science, and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere – all part of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering.

CSU researchers have long had access to S-band radar technology via the CSU-CHILL National Radar Facility in Greeley. The new system will give CSU more options for research observations around the world.

“With this equipment, we can make these observations at different climatological regimes, because we have an instrument we can deploy easily,” Chandra said.

Faculty and students alike will have access to the radar, allowing for further observations of the atmosphere and enhanced experimental research opportunities.

Chandra has maintained a long relationship with Finland, where Vaisala’s headquarters is located, through research collaborations with the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. In September, the Finnish government recognized Chandra for his contributions to technical expertise through research collaborations with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, University of Helsinki and the private sector. He was awarded the Insignia of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland.

“Technology like this radar is a valuable tool our faculty can use to measure atmospheric phenomena, and this gift will allow us to build on our long history of research in remote sensing and weather observations,” said David McLean, dean of CSU’s Scott College of Engineering. “We’ll be making a big step forward in our ability to continue to advance this work.”