The Flexible Array of Radars and Mesonets (FARM)

Joshua Wurman, Karen Kosiba, Brian Pereira, Paul Robinson, Andrew Frambach, Alycia Gilliland, Trevor White, Josh Aikins, Robert J. Trapp, Stephen Nesbitt, Maiana N. Hanshaw, Jon Lutz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Flexible Array of Radars and Mesonets (FARM) Facility is an extensive mobile/ quickly deployable (MQD) multiple-Doppler radar and in situ instrumentation network. The FARM includes four radars: two 3-cm dual polarization, dual frequency (DPDF), Doppler on Wheels (DOW6/DOW7), the Rapid-Scan DOW (RSDOW), and a quickly deployable (QD) DPDF 5-cm C band on Wheels (COW). The FARM includes three mobile mesonet (MM) vehicles with 3.5-m masts, an array of rugged QD weather stations (PODNET), QD weather stations deployed on infrastructure such as light/power poles (POLENET), four disdrometers, six MQD upper-air sounding systems and a Mobile Operations and Repair Center (MORC). The FARM serves a wide variety of research/ educational uses. Components have deployed to >30 projects during 1995-2020 in the United States, Europe, and South America, obtaining pioneering observations of a myriad of small spatial- and temporal-scale phenomena including tornadoes, hurricanes, lake-effect snow storms, aircraft-affecting turbulence, convection initiation, microbursts, intense precipitation, boundary layer structures and evolution, airborne hazardous substances, coastal storms, wildfires and wildfire suppression efforts, weather modification effects, and mountain/alpine winds and precipitation. The radars and other FARM systems support innovative educational efforts, deploying >40 times to universities/colleges, providing hands-on access to cutting-edge instrumentation for their students. The FARM provides integrated multiple radar, mesonet, sounding, and related capabilities enabling diverse and robust coordinated sampling of three-dimensional vector winds, precipitation, and thermodynamics increasingly central to a wide range of mesoscale research. Planned innovations include S-band on Wheels Network (SOWNET) and Bistatic Adaptable Radar Network (BARN), offering more qualitative improvements to the field project observational paradigm, providing broad, flexible, and inexpensive 10-cm radar coverage and vector wind field measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1499-E1525
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • In situ atmospheric observations
  • Mesoscale processes
  • Radars/Radar observations
  • Radiosonde/rawinsonde observations
  • Surface observations
  • Weather radar signal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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