Skip to main content

Have you ever questioned why tornadoes are disproportionately deadly in the Southeast? Or how to continually improve monitoring and prediction of climate change? If so, then you’re asking the questions our experts at NOAA’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD) are actively seeking answers to in their research.

ORAU supports NOAA’s ATDD focus on air quality and climate-related research, including lower atmosphere research in the areas of air quality, contaminant dispersion and climate. ATDD also manages and operates the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) to accurately estimate continental U.S. trends in temperature and precipitation in rural environmental settings expected to remain stable for many decades.

ATDD frequently hosts graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and U.S. and international visiting scientists, who collaborate with scientists at other NOAA laboratories, government agencies, universities and private organizations. Research stations are located Oak Ridge National Laboratory Walker Branch Watershed forested experimental area and at the Chestnut Ridge Environmental Study site. On-site facilities include a wind tunnel laboratory, machine shop, electronics laboratory and chemical instruments laboratory.

Research focus areas

  • Identify additional research uses of climate date generated by USCRN that offer long-term, high quality observations of air temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture and temperature
  • Develop better methods for predicting transport and dispersion of air pollutants
  • Improve modeling of air-surface exchange of water, energy and carbon, so that their effect(s) on the earth's climate may be better understood
  • Developing techniques for analyzing and interpreting data collected during atmospheric studies
  • Interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary research that leverages atmospheric studies
 Edward Dumas: Understanding the eclipse

Edward Dumas: Understanding the eclipse

During the rare solar event, ORAU computer programmer Ed Dumas flew an sUAS to measure air temperatures as part of the ORAU team with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Air Resources Laboratory, Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division. On farmland near Ten Mile, Tennessee, which was ideally located within the line of totality, they conducted experiments on seven flights, beginning at the start of the partial eclipse, one and a half hours prior to totality, and continuing until one and a half hours after totality.

Read More

Select Publications

Our Experts

Randy White

Randy White

Expertise: Wind tunnel modeling, atmospheric and soil measurement in tornado research, wind energy studies, air pollutant measurement
  • Investigator: Environmental and atmospheric experiments for DOE, National Weather Service, National Park Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Presenter: Environmental sciences programs for K-12 students
  • Project Manager: East Tennessee 2017 Total Solar Eclipse atmospheric testing and measurement
Edward Dumas

Edward Dumas

Expertise: Research in the lower boundary-layer using small unmanned aircraft systems to record temperature, relative humidity, and wind measurements

Dumas participated in the mechanical design, and hardware and software integration for several generations of the Best Aircraft Turbulence (BAT) probe. As a computer programmer and analyst, he has developed real-time data acquisition and analysis software to measure boundary-layer fluxes of mass, momentum, and energy from several small environmental research aircraft. His research has also resulted in custom websites that display real-time meteorological data.

Contact us

If you have questions about ORAU's Research partnerships, contact 865.576.1717 or .