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Australia : Mission accomplished for the Redbank Plains research radar.

The dome-shaped structure of the Bureau of Meteorology's CP2 Research Radar at Redbank Plains is a prominent feature in the Ipswich landscape, visible from Brisbane due to its elevated positon.

The radar has completed its mission to deliver valuable research data to the Bureau, and is now in the process of being decommissioned.

There will be no impact on the Bureau's weather forecasting services for the area. Southeast Queensland is well-served by two weather watch radars, one located at Mount Stapylton, near Beenleigh, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and another located at Marburg, west of Ipswich.

The CP2 Research Radar was originally a 1970s-era radar gifted by the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the United States, which was upgraded to state of the art capability and installed at Redbank Plains in December 2006.

The radar was switched off late last year, and any reusable parts are now in the process of being packed for return shipping to NCAR as spare parts. The decommissioning of the radar will have no impact on community safety as it has been used for research rather than operational forecasting.

The CP in its title stands for cloud physics, and the facility has been used in collaborative hydrological and meteorological research within Australia to inform advances in science, and drive ongoing improvement in the weather forecasting and warning services delivered by the Bureau.

The data collected for analysis over the past 10 years has been used in a number of research projects spanning weather and flood forecasting:

Improving our understanding of thunderstorms, Improving the methods for rainfall measurement and hail detection, and Exploring the potential for cloud seeding.

This work continues, with meteorological data collected during recent east coast low events currently being analysed to increase our understanding of intense rainfall events and improve real-time forecasting.

The Bureau has gained significant experience during the 10 years the CP2 radar was in operation, particularly in the operation of its advanced dual polarisation technology.

This experience has provided valuable insights for the development of the Bureaus public weather radar network to incorporate dual polarisation technology into future upgrades as early as next year.

Australia has the fourth largest weather radar network in the world and the highest number of radars per capita providing one of the most viewed and accessed services on the Bureau's website.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 14, 2016
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