About This Site

The radar lab viewer is an interactive viewer of simulated radar reflectivities of a model simulation. Initially designed for an undergraduate radar and satellite course, this applet provides the capability to display vertical and horizontal cross sections of a weather scene.

Intended Audience

It is assumed that a user has a general understanding of radar remote sensing for weather and the concept of satellite remote sensing. This tool is most informative when used with the activity sheet (for now, please contact ethan.nelson@aos.wisc.edu).

Topics Covered

This applet helps to demonstrate radiative effects such as attenuation and Mie scattering for different wavelengths of radar, instrument sensitivity to different features of interest, and it provides simultaneous truth hydrometeor information to compare with observations.

More Information

Check out the GitHub repository for more information.


The development of this module was possible thanks to generous funding by NASA Headquarters under the Earth and Space Science Fellowship #NNX14AL35H. An associated learning activity sheet was developed under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin Delta Program for Research, Teaching, and Learning, a project of the Center of the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (NSF Grant #0227592). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Model data were taken from a Regional Atmospheric Modeling System cloud allowing simulation:

Radar observations were simulated using the Quickbeam simulator:

All plots were generated with Python matplotlib:


Feedback is welcome at ethan.nelson@aos.wisc.edu.