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Written by Reed Timmer   
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 18:34

dominatorHere are pictures of the near-completed TVN tornado radar vehicle (TVN Dominator - we don't really like this name but are kind of stuck with it!).  Most of the pictures are when the vehicle is lowered to the ground via the hydraulic system, but when in mobile mode the frame rides fairly high, so we definitely won't have any clearance issues.  The bracket on the top rear is where the single beam vertical radar will be mounted, which should happen in a few weeks.  Note the probe deployment tray in the back between the hydraulic towers, as well as the mast for the anemometer on the back.  Basically this vehicle will be the ultimate extreme research machine..  The goal is not to drive into a tornado, but just to get extremely close to the funnel to measure the vertical wind velocities around the tornado.  The armor around the Tahoe is to protect us from flying debris, and of course we'll never have to worry about hail again!  Considering all the wind shields we lose during the season this thing should pay for itself by the end of 2010!  The goal with this vehicle was to not only increase our safety when getting close to tornadoes, but also to INCREASE our mobility in the field and on muddy farm roads.  We drove it all around today and it rides just as smooth as the Tahoe, if not better, and has even better visibility with slightly bigger windows.  We'll be posting video showing the Dominator in action tomorrow morning!

 

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