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Science Technology

Weather Radar Goes Miniature 167

quackking writes "As reported today in the Boston Globe, the NSF has committed at least $17M to build out a new network of miniature (at least in comparison with today's monsters) weather radars. This is to radar what Beowulf clusters are to the mainframe; the scientists at U Mass Amherst project that eventually a weather radar node will be deployable for under $20K! Now to figure out how to get real-time access to this mesh of sensors and create a really cool screensaver..."
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Weather Radar Goes Miniature

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  • MOD THEM DOWN (Score:3, Insightful)

    by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @02:14PM (#7096037) Homepage Journal
    Oh, God! 10 comments and ALL 10 are silly jokes about Beowulf clusters. If we need a Beowulf cluster then that would be to scan /. traffic and filter such stupid jokes out.

    Can we at least install on /. some neural-network scanners that would mod all such obsolete jokes down?

  • Availability (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thedillybar ( 677116 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @02:14PM (#7096038)
    Let's hope that these resources will be widely available for research purposes and weather forecasting. I think this is a big step in understanding various weather systems, a science that is far from understood by anyone.

    Not long after this is implemented, I hope to see various news agencies provide not only forecasting based on information provided from the new equipment, but raw data (and maybe not-so-raw images) as well.

    This could be a great resource for researchers and the slashdot crowd alike.
  • by CKW ( 409971 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @02:21PM (#7096107) Journal
    Now to figure out how to get real-time access to this mesh of sensors and create a really cool screensaver...

    Hmmm, you know, p2p would be the perfect way to distribute said data among all the people who need access to it (if it was a screensaver and so popular and contained realtime feed...)

  • biological attack? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Porthwhanker ( 708730 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @02:26PM (#7096159)
    If successful, the new technology could also be used to track the low-level winds that could carry a biological, chemical, or radiological attack.

    What's the point if the system can't detect the biological/chemical element in question? Even if they knew where the element was released, and they could track the low-level winds, I doubt they could accurately predict how it would disperse. Even with more accurate & detailed data, the weather is a very chaotic and unpredictable system. But at least we'll be able to detect weather patterns missed by current technologies, so it's a good step forward.
  • by Weird_one ( 86883 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @02:32PM (#7096205)
    hey, a question for those with more knowledge than me.

    Would it be possible to have the individual nodes of the array be cell phone towers using the existing signals they are constantly transmitting for use in radar imaging. I understand the wavelength is different, but would cell phone length waves still interfere enough to return a proper reading?

    just a thought of using a existing setup for data.
  • by Oliver Wendell Jones ( 158103 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @03:02PM (#7096490)
    Oh man, I kill me.

    Well, somebody should.

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -- Christopher Morley