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Texas Tech University's Rapid Deployment Surface Observing Platform

Ian M. Giammanco, John L. Schroeder, Brian D. Hirth (ian.giammanco@ttu.edu) Wind Science and Engineering Research Center Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas, USA

The Wind Science and Engineering (WISE) Research Center at Texas Tech University (TTU) has deployed mobile, ruggedized, and self-sustained instrumented towers in the path of landfalling tropical cyclones since 1998. During this time period, these mobile tower observations have comprised a large percentage of the complete data records from the landfall regions of 24 tropical cyclones, as conventional observing platforms often failed during these events. The tower observations have helped shed light on the character of the surface wind field. Even with this effort, as well as similar efforts from other institutions, the need exists for a dense network of self-sustained observing stations near the immediate shoreline to provide further evaluation of the tropical cyclone wind field at landfall.

The WISE Research Center has recently developed a new, self-sustained, ground-based instrumentation platform, which supports rapid deployment to the landfall region. Each of these platforms can be deployed in approximately two-three minutes by two individuals, allowing for a coordinated effort to safely deploy a large number of these platforms along the coastline in advance of an approaching tropical cyclone. The systems collect high-resolution (5-10 Hz sampling rates) meteorological data at 2.5 m above ground level, and maintain the capability to operate for over seven days without an additional power source. TTU currently has ten of these platforms operational; an additional 10-15 are scheduled for completion by August 2007. The project goal is to develop the capability to deploy 40-50 platforms to the landfall region. This effort would dramatically increase the spatial coverage of complete meteorological data records from the landfall region and reduce the uncertainties in assessing the surface wind field.

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