Dr. Damoah Wins $209k Meteorological Grant

Dr. Damoah and colleagues holding and releasing a weather balloon
Dr. Richard Damoah and colleagues holding and releasing a weather balloon.

Dr. Richard Damoah, Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics has won a grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) HBCU – Excellence in Research Program to carry out his project, “Planetary Boundary Layer Processes from an Incipient Surface/Upper Air Mesonet Network in the Baltimore-Washington Region.” In collaboration with Howard University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Dr. Damoah will launch a weather balloon carrying a radiosonde weather station to collect and transmit data on the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL), the layer of the atmosphere closest to Earth where most weather events occur, in the Washington DC-Baltimore I-95 corridor.

The radiosonde station will provide information about PBL height, formation of elevated mixing layers, changes in air mass, as well as air quality, climate and environmental conditions. Such data is critical for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in monitoring climate change and improving weather forecasts. The reusable radiosonde ground station receiving the data will help Morgan State University (MSU) enhance its climate and environmental programs by supplementing the already established MSU weather station. It is expected that, through the activities of this project, MSU will be recognized by the WMO as a Global Climate Observing System Upper Reference Air Network certified station for launching weather balloons. Beyond the research and climatic data collection, a central objective of the project is to train students and provide them with experience on instrumentation deployment, field experimentation and scientific research. The grant will provide a total of $209,360 over the period of June 15, 2020 to May 31, 2022.