The Rapidly Deployable Atmospheric Profiling System

The Rapidly Deployable Atmospheric Profiling System (RaDAPS) facility, like the MIPS, is a converted medium duty ambulance that is designed to provide high resolution boundary layer (BL) kinematics, thermodynamics, and retrieve aerosol and cloud characteristics. Mounted to the bed of the truck, RaDAPS shares many of the same instruments as the MIPS. The current configuration includes a Radiometrics 915 MHz Radar Wind Profiler (RWP) a Vaisala CL51 lidar ceilometer, Radiometrics 35-channel Microwave Profiling Radiometer (MPR), OTT Hydromet Parsivel disdrometer, Metek Micro Rain Radar, and a telescoping 6-meter surface measurements tower with a Vaisala WXT 520 mounted to it (temperature/RH, pressure, wind, pressure, and precipitation). An optional 4 kHz Doppler sodar can accompany RaDAPS to provide high resolution winds from near-surface to ~500 m AGL. All instruments and computers are powered using a 6 kW diesel generator.

The current RaDAPS configuration.

Originally serving as the MIPS prior to 2013, the 2002 Freightliner ambulance patient area was removed after an overheating computer caught fire and destroyed the back of the truck. A flatbed was installed onto the back of the truck and new profiling instruments were acquired. In 2016, the RaDAPS truck was deployed for its flagship project, VORTEX-SE. Since 2016, RaDAPS has been deployed for numerous intensive operation periods (IOPs) in support of VORTEX-SE, PERiLS, and a deployment for Hurricane Ida (2021). With RaDAPS sharing many of the same instruments as the MIPS platform, unique networks can be designed such that research topics like surface and BL heterogeneity can be investigated.

Although RaDAPS offers a smaller workspace as compared to MIPS, the two chairs inside the cab swivel around for personnel to control the three computers that operate the instruments (two linux and one Windows) and provides a comfortable area to work. All instruments and computers are powered by a 6 kW Cummings generator mounted underneath the truck bed which helps optimize the space for instruments on top of the bed. Four hydraulic leveling jacks are mounted to the truck bed to ensure stability and properly leveled instruments. A 15,000 BTU Ocean Breeze AC unit mounted to the truck provides air conditioned or heated air to the cab and instruments. A remote button for the jacks and generator allows the operator to level the truck and start the generator without needing to get out of the vehicle.

Click to explore each instrument:

RaDAPS deployed with MAX at the Courtland Aiport for VORTEX-SE.

RaDAPS 915 data retrieved during Hurricane Ida's (2021) Western eyewall passage.

Inside the RaDAPS workspace. Three computer screens are mounted to display data from all instruments.

RaDAPS deployed in next to the Tennessee River in Decatur, AL for VORTEX-SE.