Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

R. Michael Hardesty

Research Interests

My research interests center around development, evaluation, and application of optical remote sensing techniques to investigate atmospheric processes. We use different lidar techniques to study a broad range of phenomena, including boundary layer dynamics, space-based measurement of winds, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Results of this research improve understanding and modeling of weather and climate processes, sources of particulate and gaseous air pollution, and renewable energy production.

Current Research

I'm continuing research into developing and deploying a Doppler lidar in space to measure wind profiles globally. Currently, observations of wind profiles come primarily from radiosondes and aircraft, and are concentrated over land masses and in the northern hemisphere. Scatterometer and atmospheric motion vectors provide additional wind information but are limited in vertical extent. Observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) indicate that space-based Doppler wind measurements assimilated into numerical forecast models would significantly improve short and medium range weather forecasts as well as reanalysis data sets used in climate studies. Working with Ball Aerospace and a CIRES postdoc, we have been investigating the performance and potential for space deployment of an Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (OAWL) based on a Mach-Zender interferometer to measure Doppler shift. The instrument was developed at Ball and recently tested on a NASA WB-57 aircraft during the summer of 2016 (Figure 1). The OAWL instrument concept is potentially well-suited for a space mission, offering the capability of measuring winds based on scatter of laser light from both molecules and aerosols using one laser transmitter and a single receiver. Primary goal of the WB-57 flights was to assess the accuracy and precision of the instrument and to verify the model used to estimate performance of such a lidar from space. Dropsondes deployed during each flight provided comparison observations to assess accuracy of the lidar measurements.

Figure 1 shows the configuration of the lidar on the WB-57 aircraft for the test flights. The instrument includes two telescopes directing lidar beams at angles of +/- 45 degrees relative to the aircraft axis and 45 degrees off nadir, providing the two orthogonal looks required to estimate the horizontal wind vector. During each of the 8 flights the aircraft took off from Ellington Field in Houston and flew racetrack patterns over the Gulf of Mexico. Three science flights included dropsondes to provide a reference for assessment of wind measurement accuracy. Figure 2 shows an example of 2-dimensional winds calculated by combining wind measurements from the forward and aft looking telescopes over two legs of the racetrack pattern showing general repeatability of the measurements for each leg. Analysis of precision, accuracy, and sensitivity based on measurements from the flight program generally verified the instrument concept and indicated that a similar instrument could provide useful wind measurements from a space platform such as the International Space Station. As a result, we are continuing to develop and propose designs for potential space-based wind measurements to fill the need for better global wind observations.

Geometry of lidar wind measurements on the WB-57 showing fore and aft looks.

Figure 1: Geometry of lidar wind measurements on the WB-57 showing fore and aft looks. Photo credit: Sara Tucker, Ball

Horizontal wind vectors calculated from fore and aft looks during the summer 2016 Houston flight campaign

Figure 2: Horizontal wind vectors calculated from fore and aft looks during the summer 2016 Houston flight campaign. Photo credit: Sunil Baidar (CIRES)

View Publications

  • Baidar, S, SC Tucker, M Beaubien and RM Hardesty (2018), The Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar. Part II: Green OAWL (GrOAWL) Airborne Performance and Validation. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 35 (10) 2099-2116, issn: 0739-0572, ids: GX7PP, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0025.1
  • Banta, RM, YL Pichugina, WA Brewer, EP James, JB Olson, SG Benjamin, JR Carley, L Bianco, IV Djalalova, JM Wilczak, RM Hardesty, J Cline and MC Marquis (2018), EVALUATING AND IMPROVING NWP FORECAST MODELS FOR THE FUTURE How the Needs of Offshore Wind Energy Can Point the Way. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. Version: 1 99 (6) 1155-1176, issn: 0003-0007, ids: GL6FH, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0310.1
  • Bonin, TA, BJ Carroll, RM Hardesty, WA Brewer, K Hajny, OE Salmon and PB Shepson (2018), Doppler Lidar Observations of the Mixing Height in Indianapolis Using an Automated Composite Fuzzy Logic Approach. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 35 (3) 473-490, issn: 0739-0572, ids: GB5MB, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0159.1
  • Wulfmeyer, V, DD Turner, B Baker, R Banta, A Behrendt, T Bonin, WA Brewer, M Buban, A Choukulkar, E Dumas, RM Hardesty, T Heus, J Ingwersen, D Lange, TR Lee, S Metzendorf, SK Muppa, T Meyers, R Newsom, M Osman, S Raasch, J Santanello, C Senff, F Spath, T Wagner and T Weckwerth (2018), A NEW RESEARCH APPROACH FOR OBSERVING AND CHARACTERIZING LAND-ATMOSPHERE FEEDBACK. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. Version: 1 99 (8) 1639-1667, issn: 0003-0007, ids: GT5PB, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0009.1
  • Tucker, SC, CS Weimer, S Baidar and RM Hardesty (2018), The Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar. Part I: OAWL Instrument Development and Demonstration. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 35 (10) 2079-2097, issn: 0739-0572, ids: GX7PP, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0024.1
  • Pichugina, YL, WA Brewer, RM Banta, A Choukulkar, CTM Clack, MC Marquis, BJ McCarty, AM Weickmann, SP Sandberg, RD Marchbanks and RM Hardesty (2017), Properties of the offshore low level jet and rotor layer wind shear as measured by scanning Doppler Lidar. Wind Energy Version: 1 20 (6) 987-1002, issn: 1095-4244, ids: EU2LM, doi: 10.1002/we.2075
  • Choukulkar, A, WA Brewer, SP Sandberg, A Weickmann, TA Bonin, RM Hardesty, JK Lundquist, R Delgado, GV Iungo, R Ashton, M Debnath, L Bianco, JM Wilczak, S Oncley and D Wolfe (2017), Evaluation of single and multiple Doppler lidar techniques to measure complex flow during the XPIA field campaign. Atmos. Meas. Tech. Version: 1 10 (1) 247-264, issn: 1867-1381, ids: EM6BK, doi: 10.5194/amt-10-247-2017
  • Sarmiento, DP, KJ Davis, AJ Deng, T Lauvaux, A Brewer and M Hardesty (2017), A comprehensive assessment of land surface-atmosphere interactions in a WRF/Urban modeling system for Indianapolis, IN. Elementa-Sci. Anthrop. Version: 1 5 , Art. No. 23, issn: 2325-1026, ids: EV9PL, doi: 10.1525/elementa.132
  • Deng, AJ, T Lauvaux, KJ Davis, BJ Gaudet, N Miles, SJ Richardson, K Wu, DP Sarmiento, RM Hardesty, TA Bonin, WA Brewer and KR Gurney (2017), Toward reduced transport errors in a high resolution urban CO2 inversion system. Elementa-Sci. Anthrop. Version: 1 5 , Art. No. 20, issn: 2325-1026, ids: EV9PM, doi: 10.1525/elementa.133
  • Davis, KJ, AJ Deng, T Lauvaux, NL Miles, SJ Richardson, DP Sarmiento, KR Gurney, RM Hardesty, TA Bonin, WA Brewer, BK Lamb, PB Shepson, RM Harvey, MO Cambaliza, C Sweeney, JC Turnbull, J Whetstone and A Karion (2017), The Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX): A test-bed for developing urban greenhouse gas emission measurements. Elementa-Sci. Anthrop. Version: 1 5 , Art. No. 21, issn: 2325-1026, ids: EV9PO, doi: 10.1525/elementa.188
  • Heimburger, AMF, RM Harvey, PB Shepson, BH Stirm, C Gore, J Turnbull, MOL Cambaliza, OE Salmon, AEM Kerlo, TN Lavoie, KJ Davis, T Lauvaux, A Karion, C Sweeney, WA Brewer, RM Hardesty and KR Gurney (2017), Assessing the optimized precision of the aircraft mass balance method for measurement of urban greenhouse gas emission rates through averaging. Elementa-Sci. Anthrop. Version: 1 5 , Art. No. 26, issn: 2325-1026, ids: EX8XW, doi: 10.1525/elementa.134
  • Choukulkar, A, Y Pichugina, CTM Clack, R Calhoun, R Banta, A Brewer and M Hardesty (2016), A new formulation for rotor equivalent wind speed for wind resource assessment and wind power forecasting. Wind Energy Version: 1 19 (8) 1439-1452, issn: 1095-4244, ids: DR5YA, doi: 10.1002/we.1929
  • Wulfmeyer, V, SK Muppa, A Behrendt, E Hammann, F Spath, Z Sorbjan, DD Turner and RM Hardesty (2016), Determination of Convective Boundary Layer Entrainment Fluxes, Dissipation Rates, and the Molecular Destruction of Variances: Theoretical Description and a Strategy for Its Confirmation with a Novel Lidar System Synergy. J. Atmos. Sci. Version: 1 73 (2) 667-692, issn: 0022-4928, ids: DH8DW, doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0392.1
  • Abari, CF, XZ Chu, RM Hardesty and J Mann (2015), A reconfigurable all-fiber polarization-diversity coherent Doppler lidar: principles and numerical simulations. Appl. Optics Version: 1 54 (30) 8999-9009, issn: 1559-128X, ids: CU1VZ, doi: 10.1364/AO.54.008999, PubMed ID: 26560390
  • Baidar, S, RM Hardesty, SW Kim, AO Langford, H Oetjen, CJ Senff, M Trainer and R Volkamer (2015), Weakening of the weekend ozone effect over Californias South Coast Air Basin. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 42 (21) 9457-9464, issn: 0094-8276, ids: DB2KK, doi: 10.1002/2015GL066419
  • Banta, RM, YL Pichugina, WA Brewer, JK Lundquist, ND Kelley, SP Sandberg, RJ Alvarez, RM Hardesty and AM Weickmann (2015), 3D Volumetric Analysis of Wind Turbine Wake Properties in the Atmosphere Using High-Resolution Doppler Lidar. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 32 (5) 904-914, issn: 0739-0572, ids: CI5DF, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00078.1
  • Wulfmeyer, V, RM Hardesty, DD Turner, A Behrendt, MP Cadeddu, P Di Girolamo, P Schlussel, J Van Baelen and F Zus (2015), A review of the remote sensing of lower tropospheric thermodynamic profiles and its indispensable role for the understanding and the simulation of water and energy cycles. Rev. Geophys. Version: 1 53 (3) 819-895, issn: 8755-1209, ids: CU2GY, doi: 10.1002/2014RG000476
  • Karion, A, C Sweeney, EA Kort, PB Shepson, A Brewer, M Cambaliza, SA Conley, K Davis, AJ Deng, M Hardesty, SC Herndon, T Lauvaux, T Lavoie, D Lyon, T Newberger, G Petron, C Rella, M Smith, S Wolter, TI Yacovitch and P Tans (2015), Aircraft-Based Estimate of Total Methane Emissions from the Barnett Shale Region. Environ. Sci. Technol. Version: 1 49 (13) 8124-8131, issn: 0013-936X, ids: CM6ZN, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00217, PubMed ID: 26148550
  • Atlas, R, RN Hoffman, ZZ Ma, GD Emmitt, SA Wood, S Greco, S Tucker, L Bucci, B Annane, RM Hardesty and S Murillo (2015), Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) to Evaluate the Potential Impact of an Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (OAWL) on Numerical Weather Prediction. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 32 (9) 1593-1613, issn: 0739-0572, ids: CR5EY, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0038.1
  • Baker, WE, R Atlas, C Cardinali, A Clement, GD Emmitt, BM Gentry, RM Hardesty, E Kallen, MJ Kavaya, R Langland, ZZ Ma, M Masutani, W McCarty, RB Pierce, ZX Pu, LP Riishojgaard, J Ryan, S Tucker, M Weissmann and JG Yoe (2014), LIDAR-MEASURED WIND PROFILES The Missing Link in the Global Observing System. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. Version: 1 95 (4) 543-564, issn: 0003-0007, ids: AI8MK, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00164.1
  • Petron, G, A Karion, C Sweeney, BR Miller, SA Montzka, GJ Frost, M Trainer, P Tans, A Andrews, J Kofler, D Helmig, D Guenther, E Dlugokencky, P Lang, T Newberger, S Wolter, B Hall, P Novelli, A Brewer, S Conley, M Hardesty, R Banta, A White, D Noone, D Wolfe and R Schnell (2014), A new look at methane and nonmethane hydrocarbon emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the Colorado Denver-Julesburg Basin. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 119 (11) 6836-6852, issn: 2169-897X, ids: AJ8RK, doi: 10.1002/2013JD021272
  • Karion, A, C Sweeney, G Petron, G Frost, RM Hardesty, J Kofler, BR Miller, T Newberger, S Wolter, R Banta, A Brewer, E Dlugokencky, P Lang, SA Montzka, R Schnell, P Tans, M Trainer, R Zamora and S Conley (2013), Methane emissions estimate from airborne measurements over a western United States natural gas field. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 40 (16) 4393-4397, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 219SI, doi: 10.1002/grl.50811
  • Ryerson, TB, AE Andrews, WM Angevine, TS Bates, CA Brock, B Cairns, RC Cohen, OR Cooper, JA de Gouw, FC Fehsenfeld, RA Ferrare, ML Fischer, RC Flagan, AH Goldstein, JW Hair, RM Hardesty, CA Hostetler, JL Jimenez, AO Langford, E McCauley, SA McKeen, LT Molina, A Nenes, SJ Oltmans, DD Parrish, JR Pederson, RB Pierce, K Prather, PK Quinn, JH Seinfeld, CJ Senff, A Sorooshian, J Stutz, JD Surratt, M Trainer, R Volkamer, EJ Williams and SC Wofsy (2013), The 2010 California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) field study. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 118 (11) 5830-5866, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 228TG, doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50331
  • Banta, RM, YL Pichugina, ND Kelley, RM Hardesty and WA Brewer (2013), WIND ENERGY METEOROLOGY: Insight into Wind Properties in the Turbine-Rotor Layer of the Atmosphere from High-Resolution Doppler Lidar. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. Version: 1 94 (6) 883-902, issn: 0003-0007, ids: 175TK, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00057.1
  • Neely, RR, M Hayman, R Stillwell, JP Thayer, RM Hardesty, M O'Neill, MD Shupe and C Alvarez (2013), Polarization Lidar at Summit, Greenland, for the Detection of Cloud Phase and Particle Orientation. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 30 (8) 1635-1655, issn: 0739-0572, ids: 207XM, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00101.1
  • Langford, AO, J Brioude, OR Cooper, CJ Senff, RJ Alvarez, RM Hardesty, BJ Johnson and SJ Oltmans (2012), Stratospheric influence on surface ozone in the Los Angeles area during late spring and early summer of 2010. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 117 , Art. No. D00V06, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 887WB, doi: 10.1029/2011JD016766
  • Banta, RM, CJ Senff, RJ Alvarez, AO Langford, DD Parrish, MK Trainer, LS Darby, RM Hardesty, B Lambeth, JA Neuman, WM Angevine, J Nielsen-Gammon, SP Sandberg and AB White (2011), Dependence of daily peak O-3 concentrations near Houston, Texas on environmental factors: Wind speed, temperature, and boundary-layer depth. Atmos. Environ. Version: 1 45 (1) 162-173, issn: 1352-2310, ids: 699PP, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2010.09.030
  • Langford, AO, CJ Senff, RJ Alvarez, RM Banta, RM Hardesty, DD Parrish and TB Ryerson (2011), Comparison between the TOPAZ Airborne Ozone Lidar and In Situ Measurements during TexAQS 2006. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 28 (10) 1243-1257, issn: 0739-0572, ids: 843FP, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-10-05043.1
  • Alvarez, RJ, CJ Senff, AO Langford, AM Weickmann, DC Law, JL Machol, DA Merritt, RD Marchbanks, SP Sandberg, WA Brewer, RM Hardesty and RM Banta (2011), Development and Application of a Compact, Tunable, Solid-State Airborne Ozone Lidar System for Boundary Layer Profiling. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 28 (10) 1258-1272, issn: 0739-0572, ids: 843FP, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-10-05044.1
  • Tucker, SC, WA Brewer, RM Banta, CJ Senff, SP Sandberg, DC Law, AM Weickmann and RM Hardesty (2009), Doppler Lidar Estimation of Mixing Height Using Turbulence, Shear, and Aerosol Profiles. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 26 (4) 673-688, issn: 0739-0572, ids: 443ZN, doi: 10.1175/2008JTECHA1157.1
  • Langford, AO, CJ Senff, RM Banta, RM Hardesty, RJ Alvarez, SP Sandberg and LS Darby (2009), Regional and local background ozone in Houston during Texas Air Quality Study 2006. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 114 , Art. No. D00F12, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 466ED, doi: 10.1029/2008JD011687
  • Parrish, DD, DT Allen, TS Bates, M Estes, FC Fehsenfeld, G Feingold, R Ferrare, RM Hardesty, JF Meagher, JW Nielsen-Gammon, RB Pierce, TB Ryerson, JH Seinfeld and EJ Williams (2009), Overview of the Second Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS II) and the Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (GoMACCS). J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 114 , Art. No. D00F13, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 469XW, doi: 10.1029/2009JD011842
  • Huang, WT, XZ Chu, J Wiig, B Tan, C Yamashita, T Yuan, J Yue, SD Harrell, CY She, BP Williams, JS Friedman and RM Hardesty (2009), Field demonstration of simultaneous wind and temperature measurements from 5 to 50 km with a Na double-edge magneto-optic filter in a multi-frequency Doppler lidar. Opt. Lett. Version: 1 34 (10) 1552-1554, issn: 0146-9592, ids: 458YB, doi: 10.1364/OL.34.001552, PubMed ID: 19448818
  • Tollerud, EI, F Caracena, SE Koch, BD Jamison, RM Hardesty, BJ McCarty, C Kiemle, RS Collander, DL Bartels, S Albers, B Shaw, DL Birkenheuer and WA Brewer (2008), Mesoscale Moisture Transport by the Low-Level Jet during the IHOP Field Experiment. Mon. Weather Rev. Version: 1 136 (10) 3781-3795, issn: 0027-0644, ids: 361YO, doi: 10.1175/2008MWR2421.1
  • Kiemle, C, WA Brewer, G Ehret, RM Hardesty, A Fix, C Senff, M Wirth, G Poberaj and MA LeMone (2007), Latent heat flux profiles from collocated airborne water vapor and wind lidars during IHOP_2002. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Version: 1 24 (4) 627-639, issn: 0739-0572, ids: 157TC, doi: 10.1175/JTECH1997.1
  • Chai, TF, GR Carmichael, YH Tang, A Sandu, M Hardesty, P Pilewskie, S Whitlow, EV Browell, MA Avery, P Nedelec, JT Merrill, AM Thompson and E Williams (2007), Four-dimensional data assimilation experiments with International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation ozone measurements. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 112 (D12) , Art. No. D12S15, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 173AZ, doi: 10.1029/2006JD007763
  • Fehsenfeld, FC, G Ancellet, TS Bates, AH Goldstein, RM Hardesty, R Honrath, KS Law, AC Lewis, R Leaitch, S McKeen, J Meagher, DD Parrish, AAP Pszenny, PB Russell, H Schlager, J Seinfeld, R Talbot and R Zbinden (2006), International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation (ICARTT): North America to Europe - Overview of the 2004 summer field study. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 111 (D23) , Art. No. D23S01, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 118LC, doi: 10.1029/2006JD007829
  • Flamant, C, P Drobinski, L Nance, R Banta, L Darby, J Dusek, M Hardesty, J Pelon and E Richard (2002), Gap flow in an Alpine valley during a shallow south fohn event: Observations, numerical simulations and hydraulic analogue. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. Version: 1 128 (582) 1173-1210, issn: 0035-9009, ids: 564XR, doi: 10.1256/003590002320373256