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Peter & Nancy Hildebrand

             

             Vanessa Hildebrand        Mitch & Emily        Christopher Hildebrand

               Emily Peter Sara Jockeys Ridge SM.JPG (48538 bytes)  PeterEmily SM.JPG (53296 bytes)  PeterEmilyLynnDon Js Ridge SM.JPG (75445 bytes)  PeterLynnEllaDinner Sm.JPG (391642 bytes)  

                         Pictures from Family Reunion at Nags Head, N.C., June, 2003.

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From Peter, Nancy and the gang on March 19th, 2003:

 

Dear Family:

Attached are some photos from last weekend's peace march in Washington DC.
It was a very nice crowd, many old enough to remember Vietnam, many others
younger. Lots of pleasant cheering and chanting, with all the normal
demonstration stuff too many speeches, too crummy a loudspeaker system, and
no one caring because everyone seemed happy to be there. A significant
number of immigrant families was among a much larger number of families of
all sorts.

We felt good for going, came home tired and glad we had gone.

Of course, the warring will happen anyway, but at least we said something.

love,

Peter, Nancy and the gang.


Peace march -  kids dont need war.jpg (89121 bytes)  Peace march -  send bush.jpg (68241 bytes)  Peace march - at the monument.jpg (74175 bytes)  Peace march - empty warhead found.jpg (68127 bytes)  Peace march - Jack Daniels.jpg (79723 bytes)

 

 

Peace march - more signs.jpg (59358 bytes)  Peace march - ready to go.jpg (117794 bytes)  Peace march - war hurts kids.jpg (94775 bytes)  Peace march - washington monument.jpg (60418 bytes)  peach march - gathering crowd.jpg (111963 bytes)

 

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From Peter Hildebrand on February 7th, 2003:

 

Hi Folks:

We have fond memories of our surprise meeting in Carmel last fall. Here's a
photo--finally! What a pleasant surprise that Nan and I had while wandering
around Carmel last October looking for a wedding gift!

All are fine here. Vanessa is threatening to return to Indonesia next week,
she's a determined young woman, and although this frightens us somewhat, we
understand her need to complete her work. Time waits for no one.

                                    Carmel Meeting.JPG (468289 bytes)

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From the October, 1999 issue of the SN Monthly, a UCAR monthly journal:

What does it take to lure Peter Hildebrand away?

Peter Hildebrand

The job had to be a good one to uproot Peter Hildebrand after 21 years in Boulder. And indeed it is. Peter moved to Greenbelt, Maryland, last month to head up the Microwave Sensors Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

 

The group uses familiar technology--radars and radiometers, largely deployed on aircraft and satellites--and applies it to global-scale problems. "It's really an exciting opportunity to start applying what I've learned about remote sensing to the problems of global measurements of hydrology, surface moisture, precipitation, and ocean-surface characteristics," says Peter. "These kinds of opportunities don't come along very often, and I just decided I'd better do it."

The only catch is that Peter won't get to see his pride and joy, the Electra Doppler radar (ELDORA), in action this fall at MAP. "I'm really going to miss all the fun in MAP. I put a lot of effort into getting it going."

 

Peter joined NCAR as a postdoc in 1978 and became an ATD scientist in 1979. As far back as the early 1980s, he began feasibility studies on combining NCAR's expertises in aviation and radar to build a plane-based Doppler radar.

 

"Within a year or two after joining ATD, I realized that it was the perfect place to develop airborne Doppler. I just started pushing on it, and the details of the design developed as we worked." Peter and Chuck Frush collaborated with NOAA to help get the radar aboard their P-3 up and running, and "those efforts demonstrated quite convincingly that airborne Doppler would work." Craig Walther then joined the design team, and by the early 1990s ATD was partnering with the French government to build ELDORA, which debuted in 1993.

 

Although he's being forced to miss MAP, the timing of Peter's departure makes sense in other ways. He has gotten several other high-priority projects rolling in his 10 years as head of ATD's Remote Sensing Facility (RSF), including the S-Pol multiparameter radar, the airborne imaging microwave radiometer (AIMR), and NCAR's first major foray into lidar, SABL (the scanning aerosol backscatter lidar). "When I took over leading RSF, Rit Carbone [then the director of ATD] told me he wanted me to completely renovate RSF's capabilities and to get some lidar capabilities going. That turned out to be a tall order, but now we've got SABL operating, we've developed very strong collaborations with NOAA's Environmental Technology Lab [renowned for its lidar expertise] and we've got Volker Wulfmeyer here doing some very exciting things with Doppler lidar and water vapor DIAL lidar."

 

Craig Walther will stand in for Peter as acting manager of RSF, and Wen-Chau Lee will head up scientific applications of ELDORA. Peter plans to return to ATD for several periods to complete some research and tie up a few loose ends. He also hopes to develop links between his old and new institutions. He points out that NASA has made use of ATD facilities in the past and said he expects that to continue in future field campaigns.

 

"In the process of making a career decision like this, a lot of soul searching goes on," says Peter. He adds, though, "If I'm going to leave, this is a good time to do it. Things are working well; RSF is an excellent group and their instruments are in good shape and in high demand. I'd say the hardest part of the move is leaving Colorado and the mountains, actually. That's going to be tough." BH

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And the following describes some of the research that Peter has been involved in:

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feedback behind the hype past stories information overload home

Storm Technology

Believe it or not, there really are scientists out there like the ones in the movie Twister whose mission is to tempt fate and get into the vortex of a tornado. But this kind of storm tracking isn't just for the thrill. There's a lot to learn when you're in the eye of the storm, like how to predict one. But sometimes getting there can be half the battle.

Every year about one hundred million dollars is lost and fifty people are killed by the two-hundred-mile-per-hour tunnel winds of tornadoes. Early warning systems have helped, but killer tornadoes still strike in seconds.

These scientists are looking for a tornado. They'll fly straight toward its base to prove a theory that to spot a tornado you don't have to look to the skies. "Believe it or not, we still don't have a handle on what creates tornadoes," says Roger Wakimoto of the Severe Storm Lab. "One of the hypotheses to prove is whether it comes from the ground or descends from the cloud base. There's a lot of data that suggests the former."

This flying laboratory has been custom built to house its new Doppler radar. Inside the plane are rows of weather data collecting equipment manned by severe storm scientists. Only fifteen years ago, they would have to wait for a storm to come to them using ground radar. Now, they can fly to the storm.

The Doppler radar takes two measurements: the speed of the wind in the tornado and the amount of rain so they can map out the complete circulation of air in the storm.

Every morning these scientists pray for a storm. If one is forecasted, they will fly to thirty thousand feet to get a good look. "We don't see any thunderstorms developing yet, but we'll keep out here a while and keep prowling around to see if we can find one," says Peter Hildebrand.

If they do spot one, they head right for its base one thousand feet above the ground. The plane flies not into the storm -- where winds are up to two hundred miles per hour -- but outside it at just one minute flying time away from the middle of the storm.

"We fly in a race track pattern flying past the storm on the south side, where the inflow is, and we can see well enough to stay out of the storm," says Hildebrand. "It's quite turbulent... it's like being on a roller coaster. It's not a particularly comfortable flight. But for those of us who like it, it's a lot of fun."

And this is where the Doppler radar comes into play. "The Doppler radar has a tone, a frequency, that we know very precisely. Then, we listen to the return radar signal from the cloud," explains Hildebrand. "And if that tone changed, we know the cloud is moving towards or away from us just as when you hear a car go by you hear a higher tone when it's coming towards you. And then when it's going further away, you hear a lower tone. We listen exactly for the same thing."

As the plane passes the tornado, the forward and aft antennas send out their beams. The improvement in technology lets them measure wind speeds six times higher then they ever could record before. The data from the radar is then fed to computers on the aircraft, but they can tell a lot more once they're back at the base.

It's this kind of data that suggest that tornadoes form close to the ground. "We are telling these people that based on our research that tornadoes build up from the ground," says Wakimoto. "Then, we need to tell the National Weather Service this because right now, for example, they are looking, they are concentrating, their scans up in the clouds themselves to look for storm scale rotation. It may be that they should concentrate their scans on a lower level."

If their theory proves correct, then Doppler radar could help warn people more quickly about tornadoes and save hundreds of lives.

If you want to learn more about the Doppler radar and other weather predicting technology, go to http://www.ucar.edu/.

 


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