Environmental Science Division (EVS) a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

The Python-ARM Radar Toolkit: Py‑ART

May 20, 2013

With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program acquired six 5-cm and 3-cm weather radars to collect large volumes of remotely sensed data related to precipitation processes. The data, however, are in a variety of file formats and scanning morphologies and are difficult to read into “off-the-shelf” analytical and imaging engines such as IDL, Python, and Matlab.

To make the wealth of radar data more useful, Argonne engineers, supported by the ARM Climate Research Facility, have developed the Python–ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART). Py-ART is an interactive open-source community project that allows users to easily read a wide variety of radar formats into a common data object. A carefully crafted architecture then facilitates a range of data retrievals.

Because Py-ART is built on existing community projects, such as Numerical Python and Scientific Python, scientists can readily apply advanced algorithms to the radar data to gain physical insight into the processes the radars are observing. The community nature of the toolkit allows users, including DOE-funded investigators, to contribute easily. The new Py-ART capability is expected to make the complex radar data sets accessible to a large community of users and to increase the community of users for the ARM radar data and other similar data sets.

As of April 12, 2013, Py-ART, developed with funding through the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, ARM Climate Research Facility, has been released publically.

To contribute to the project or use the toolkit, investigators may visit Py-ART on GitHub at https://github.com/ARM-DOE/pyart

A regional mosaic or equivalent reflectivity factor at a constant height of 1 km above Earth’s surface, derived from a network of six NEXRAD WSR-88D radars and mapped by using the Py-ART cloud-mapping functions. The overlaid lines of constant mean sea level pressure show the surface low-pressure system responsible for producing rain over the region.
A regional mosaic or equivalent reflectivity factor at a constant height of 1 km above Earth’s surface, derived from a network of six NEXRAD WSR-88D radars and mapped by using the Py-ART cloud-mapping functions. The overlaid lines of constant mean sea level pressure show the surface low-pressure system responsible for producing rain over the region. [Source: Argonne National Laboratory]
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