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Oklahoma’s Weather Enterprise 2025: Capitalizing on Opportunity OSLEP Public Lecture Jeff Kimpel, Director National Severe Storms Laboratory and Professor of Meteorology Emeritus Tonight’s Themes Big Ideas Meteorology in the Early Years (1970s) Capitalizing on Opportunity Up to Now

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oklahoma s weather enterprise 2025 capitalizing on opportunity

Oklahoma’s Weather Enterprise 2025:Capitalizing on Opportunity

OSLEP Public Lecture

Jeff Kimpel, Director

National Severe Storms Laboratory and

Professor of Meteorology Emeritus

tonight s themes
Tonight’s Themes
  • Big Ideas
  • Meteorology in the Early Years (1970s)
  • Capitalizing on Opportunity Up to Now
  • The Present
  • The Road Ahead
big ideas
Big Ideas

Big

Ideas

Proposals

Plans

Research

Results

Proof of

Concept

Build

Prototype

Build

It

Jobs,

Enterprise

Children’s

Education

Big

Ideas

the early years
The Early Years
  • School of Meteorology Founded in 1960,
  • NSSL moved to Norman from Kansas City in 1964,
  • Meteorology enterprise was a “third rate” program until the 1980s,
  • Oil Boom (1978-1981)
  • Creation of the College of Geosciences (1981)
  • Bribery!
big ideas5
Big Ideas
  • Doppler Weather Radar
  • Weather Center
  • Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms
  • Oklahoma Mesonet
  • Clouds/Climate
  • Dual Polarization
  • Phased Array Radar
doppler weather radar
Doppler Weather Radar
  • NSSL ~1968
    • Surplus missile tracking radar from the Cold War
    • Reengineered into a weather radar
    • JDOP ~1979
    • Evolved into the NEXRAD national network
    • NWS Modernization
oklahoma weather center 1981
Oklahoma Weather Center ~1981
  • National Severe Storms Laboratory NOAA
  • School of Meteorology OU
  • Oklahoma Climatological Survey OU
  • Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies OU/NOAA
oklahoma weather center today
NOAA Weather Partners

National Severe Storms Lab (NSSL)

OKC Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO)

NEXRAD Radar Operations Center (ROC)

Storm Prediction Center (SPC)

Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB)

OU

School of Meteorology (SOM)

Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS)

Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS)

Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS)

Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA)

others

Oklahoma Weather Center Today
center for analysis and prediction of storms
Derived 2D winds from a single Doppler radar (Lilly and Wolfsberg, 1986)

Won funding in NSF’s first round of Science and Technology Centers (11 out of 300+)

~$20 M

Connection to American Airlines

Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms
oklahoma mesonet
Oklahoma Mesonet
  • Feds Crawford, Doswell,Jensen
  • Yellow Proposal
  • OU and OSU
  • Initial $2.7M from Oil Overcharge Funds
  • Won Harvard and Stockholm Prizes
clouds and climate
Clouds and Climate
  • Clouds are the #1 scientific challenge to climate modeling
  • DOE Atmospheric Radiation Meas. Program, Pete Lamb, Site Scientist,~1990
  • Lamont, OK site
  • $10+ M
the present
The Present
  • The Oklahoma Weather Center has grown to become a $60 million dollar annual enterprise (OU and NOAA).
  • New companies were created or moved to Central Oklahoma.

Vieux & Associates

hydro modeling
Hydro Modeling
  • Dual Pol will greatly enhance rainfall estimates.
  • Improve flash flood warning lead times and accuracy.
  • Water management is of growing importance.
  • Can couple hydro models to chemical, biological models in rivers, estuaries.
the road ahead
The Road Ahead
  • NOAA
  • Private weather sector
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Economic development
  • More University of Oklahoma research funding
future faa radar cost
Future FAA Radar Cost

Radar Costs F&E Profile

$400

$350

$300

$250

Annual Total (BY05 $M)

$200

$150

$100

$50

$0

2005

2010

2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

u s surveillance radar networks

NEXRADs

TDWRs

ASR-9s

U.S. Surveillance Radar Networks

NEXRADs

ARSR-4s

ASR-11s

solution to earth curvature problem
Solution to Earth Curvature Problem

Small radars on every cell phone tower

new opportunities
New Opportunities
  • Take a radar centric approach
    • Phased array radars may be so fast that they can perform multiple functions.
      • Weather surveillance
      • Aircraft tracking
      • Homeland security
  • Mosaic big and little radars into one database.
  • Develop data mining techniques for many clients.
  • Save nation billions of dollars.
phased array radar rf solid state t r module trends

Power

$

Phased Array RadarRF Solid-State T/R Module Trends

Estimated

Production

Cost ($K)

Per module

System costs substantially reduced & operation costs lower every year

acquisition cost reduction

Conventional radar

PAR

PAR Cost Objective

Acquisition Today

Traditional Breakeven Point ….X years

Acquisition Cost Reduction

Acquisition Cost & Maintenance

Years

preliminary cost savings
Preliminary Cost Savings
  • Replace 506 radars with 300 radars at $10 M each.
  • Initial procurement savings is $2 billion.
  • Lifecycle maintenance cost savings $1-2 billion.
  • Graceful degradation – little unscheduled maintenance
  • Reliability increase – 90-95% to 99%
oklahoma needs
Oklahoma Needs
  • Manufacturing capability
  • Technical workforce
    • Electrical engineers
    • Computer scientists
      • Data base management
      • Graphic designers
    • Civil engineers (hydrologists)
    • Modelers (meteorologists)
  • Appropriate private sector companies
  • Political support
bottom line
Bottom Line

Can we avail ourselves of this opportunity?