new weather radar system purchased by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia (UGA) will provide the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) with expanded educational and research opportunities.

“The existence of the radar allows students a chance to see a cutting-edge meteorological radar in operation,” said Associate Professor Morris Cohen. Cohen is the director of Georgia Tech’s Low Frequency Radio Group which uses electromagnetic waves to explore the Earth's natural electricity, while developing practical applications.

The radar purchase was spearheaded by researchers John Trostel of the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s (GTRI) Severe Storms Research Center (SSRC) and Marshall Shepherd of UGA’s Atmospheric Sciences Program. The new system will be used collaboratively to provide enhanced warning for people in North Georgia, as well as educational opportunities for both institutions.

Within ECE, the radar will be used to strengthen an existing collaboration between the School and GTRI on thunderstorm and lightning development research, and the prevalence of a unique byproduct of some thunderstorms known as gigantic jets. ECE will be providing low-frequency radio measurements to locate the lightning, and characterize the gigantic jets impact on the Earth’s upper atmosphere, while the new radar will fill a hole in the coverage to ensure that there is meteorological context for these thunderstorms, according to Cohen.

The radar will also be used for class projects or examples in ECE upper-level courses such as ECE4390: Radars and remote sensing.

“Students will be able to directly practice how the raw data is mined and processed into high-level information about storms, or even perform specific experiments on the radar data,” said Cohen.


Additional Images

Morris Cohen, assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Photo by Georgia Tech)