ARL News

Las Vegas – The Next Urban Test Bed


June 28, 2004

After two years of emphasis on Washington, DC, as a prototype urban test bed for studies of meteorology, dispersion and air quality, a new effort is about to start in Las Vegas. The issue being addressed in Las Vegas relates primarily to ozone exceedances, although it is clear that the same infrastructure will lend itself to dispersion applications. The effort is being led by Clark County, which contains the City of Las Vegas. The prime scientific leadership is being provided by the Cooperative Institute for Atmospheric Science and Terrestrial Applications (CIASTA). On August 3, ARL and CIASTA are joining forces to conduct a workshop on the Las Vegas urban test bed, bringing in people from the Las Vegas community as well as from a variety of other agencies and research organizations (EPA, DHS, DOE, etc.)

The test bed will start with building a network of surface tower systems like those of DCNet, supported by a small array of sodars and other remote-sensing gear. The modeling basis for the work is already in place – for many years, ARL has been supporting research at the Nevada Test Site with a fine-grid mesoscale model. The mesonet run by ARL in support of the Nevada Test Site will also be used as a basis for the Las Vegas urban test bed study. In essence, the existing mesonet stretches nearly into Las Vegas. The new network will couple with the existing operation, with data sets that will be merged.

Contact information: Bruce B. Hicks
Phone: (301) 713-0684