Urbana, Ill. (WCIA)–

Some students at the U of I will now have the opportunity for hands-on field training. The Department of Atmospheric Sciences is getting a multi-million dollar mobile radar.

The Doppler on Wheels will allow students to collect data on rain and wind systems. The doppler is basically a radar on a truck. This then allows students to research tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter weather.

The contract also comes with three other vehicles, which includes three weather balloon launch systems and several other features.

“So they sort of understand how research grade equipment works and then also to be able to take some of this equipment and the data they collect and do undergraduate research projects,” Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences Jeff Trapp said.

The truck should be on campus in the next month. It was delayed because of the pandemic.

This was made possible through a contract with Targetable Meteorological Systems. The contract is financed through department money as well as external research grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies.