Recently, Pam Clark, chief of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) Battlefield Environment Division and Dave Knapp, chief of the ARL Atmospheric Modeling Applications Branch, Battlefield Environment Division, provided a seminar at the University of Oklahoma (OU) where they showed off ARL research efforts primarily in Unmanned Aircraft System development and products.

Clark and Knapp along with others from the university including Dr. John Snow, Regents Professor, Meteorology/Dean Emeritus, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and ARL Technical Advisory Board Member, were also able to tour the university's National Weather Center (NWC) facility, where the top ranked OU School of Meteorology is housed.

The NWC, comprised of 244,000 square feet, includes 12 academic, research and operational meteorology organizations that offer OU students internships and employment opportunities.

Completed in 2006, the state-of-the-science facility provides a collaborative environment in which university faculty, staff and students work together with researchers and operational meteorologists to support mission-critical needs.

According to Clark, ARL has many interests in the work being done at the university's NWC including their radar databases/data collection sets and lightning detection system.

"We are developing and seeking cutting edge capabilities to initialize as well as verify and validate the high resolution weather models being developed in the Division. OU has some unique approaches to building high resolution gridded weather data 'truth' fields using radar and other remotely sensed data that is of interest to us," said Clark.

For ARL, the lightning detection system could be utilized to support military operations including improved severe weather forecasting, which is currently a problem area for operational forecasters in theater.

Due to the great interest ARL has in the university's atmospheric science program and NWC, a major goal is to establish a cooperative agreement in the near future to formalize scientific collaborations.