WIRC is located in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science's Arnold True Atmospheric Observatory on the top floor of the Duncan Hall of Science at San José State University and hosts the Fire Weather Research Laboratory.
The Fire Weather Research Laboratory is the most well equipped fire weather research laboratory in the United States with a suite of assests including a network of remote fire weather stations, two 4x4 trucks equipped with Doppler lidar and radar, and an array of other laboratory facilities, sensor systems, and field equipment.
Mobile Ka-band Polarized Doppler Radar
The mobile Ka-band Doppler Radar is an amazing tool for the surveillance of wildfires and studying wildfire plume dynamics. The radar was built by Prosensing, Inc. and has a 20 deg/s scanning capability with 7.5 m range gate resolution. The radar acquisition was funded by the National Science Foundation and the truck was purchased by the College of Science.
Meteorological Equipment and Sensors
The lab is equipped with an extensive array of instrumentation to carry our elaborate field measurement campaigns including micrometeorological towers, upper-air soundings, and remote sensing of the boundary layer.
SJSU's Doppler Sodar deployed in a mountain valley to measure vertical wind profiles.
Three dimensional ultrasonic anemometers are used to measure turbulence and winds within the fire environment during the fire front passage. The sonic anemometers have to be specially calibrated to be able to measure the high air temperatures associated with the fire plume.
Upper-air radiosonde systems
The lab currently operates four different radiosonde systems, GRAW GS-E, GS-H, Intermet, and a Vaisala DigiCora III. The GRAW systems have been used the most and are very reliable.
Radiosonde systems provide valuable information on the state of the atmosphere including winds, temperature, humidity, and most importantly, atmospheric stability. These radiosonde systems are used by the laboratory during both field experiments and active wildfire incidents.