National Wind Institute tests mobile StickNet platforms

National Wind Institute tests mobile StickNet platforms

LUBBOCK, Texas -

Texas Tech using a hot windy day to its advantage.

The National Wind Institute's Hurricane Research Team tested its mobile StickNet platform, getting ready to send the weather monitoring devices where a hurricane forms.

These tests ensure everything's working correctly and helps train for the real time data flow in the middle of a storm.

Turns out West Texas wind and hurricane wind isn't all that different one's just stronger and more statistically predictable.

"We've learned in some cases we have a lot more faith in what we're looking at -- what does a hurricane wind actually mean -- and how to design for that, because we have more comfort in what the details of that hurricane wind actually looks like," John Schroeder with TTU said.

A grant has doubled the StickNet system, expanding it from 24 units to 48.

That'll allow researchers to canvas an entire land fall region even when the power goes out.

(Press Release)

Hurricane season officially begins Friday (June 1) and the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team (TTUHRT), which is part of Texas Tech’s National Wind Institute (NWI), tested its mobile StickNet platforms today (May 31) in preparation.

“Prior to each hurricane season, a mass test of the StickNet weather monitoring platforms is performed so any measurement issues can be detected and corrected in advance of their use in a hurricane,” said John Schroeder, a professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences and NWI affiliate. “Since the data is ingested in real-time by others, it is important to have things right before you ever make a move toward the coast.”

StickNets are versatile, rapidly deployable meteorological observing stations that collect high-resolution meteorological data. Dubbed “StickNet” for its resemblance to a stick figure, the platforms are designed to be deployed in large numbers in a short period of time (three minutes or less) and by a small number of people.

“When a hurricane makes landfall, many of the national weather monitoring stations fail to record information due to power loss,” Schroeder said. “This leads to an information void at landfall, when and where it counts the most. This project allows us to fill that void with real-time information and therefore provide a much better understanding of how severe a particular storm is at varied locations across the landfall region. This information can then directly support forecasting, emergency response and future efforts to mitigate property loss and save lives.”

The NWI received a grant in 2017 to expand its mobile StickNet platforms from 24 to 48. All 48 StickNets were tested today.

“This year represents the first year Texas Tech will be deploying this many instruments,” Schroeder said. “We are expanding deployment by 100 percent relative to previous years. This will allow us to cover more of the landfall region with measurements and also place them farther inland.”

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