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ECE Seminar Series


ECE Department

Title: A Multidisciplinary Living Lab for Improving Urban Resilience to Natural Disasters: Linking High-bandwidth Sensor Networks to Hydrologic Responses
Speaker: Haonan Chen
Affiliation: NOAA Earth System Research Library, Physical Sciences Division
Day: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Video Conference

Abstract: Climate change and global water cycle acceleration touch every corner of our planet’s ecosystem. Rapid urbanization in the era of climate change has made densely populated areas more vulnerable to natural disasters such as flash floods. Unfortunately, operational weather sensing and forecasting infrastructures are not able to resolve the changing hydrometeorological conditions in a timely manner at a good spatial resolution. For example, due to complex terrain and urban deployment challenges, the long-range S-band Weather Surveillance Radar – 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) has severe limitations in observing the detailed precipitation structure over the western United States. Such limitations are further compounded by the complex precipitation physics as a result of land–ocean interaction in the coastal zones and orographic enhancement in the mountainous regions. This presentation will discuss a high-resolution radar networking concept for improving urban resilience to natural disasters. This innovative remote sensing concept aims to enhance observations using a dense network of polarimetric radars to overcome the fundamental coverage limitations of the operational WSR-88D network. An example of this type of effort is the urban-scale testbed deployed in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The multidisciplinary severe weather warning system linking sensor observations to hydrologic responses will be presented. Impacts and value of this end-to-end warning platform as well as the polarimetric radar-based hydrometeorological products are evaluated in a live environment through incorporating users’ feedback. Finally, research and educational opportunities at the confluence of remote sensing, atmospheric and hydrologic sciences will be discussed.

Bio: Dr. Haonan Chen received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University in 2017. Since then, he has worked at the Physical Sciences Division of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, first as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Research Associate, and now a Remote Sensing Research Scientist. His research aims to advance the nation's understanding and situational awareness of natural disasters using ground-, air-, and space-based remote sensing technologies. Dr. Chen has interdisciplinary science and engineering experience in weather radar, satellite meteorology, and data science in remote sensing. He has teaching and supervision experience in hydrological applications of radar. He has authored 36 peer-reviewed journal articles, serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, an associate editor for URSI Radio Science Bulletin, and a lead guest editor for Remote Sensing.