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Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research

Tracking insects with a Big Dish; Australian Floods

Chilbolton Dish at Dusk

The Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research (CFARR) was originally designed to be used by astronomers, it is home to the world's largest fully steerable meteorological radar. Today, the Big Dish - as it's affectionately known among its users - is much more likely to be used by weather scientists.

Set in the Hampshire countryside, the instrument can detect anything from aircraft to insects. The dish is able to record detailed information about the height and depth of clouds, whether they are clouds made of ice or water and determine the shape and size of raindrops out to a range of 90 kilometres. Looking at this information scientists are able to determine whether the clouds are likely to cause huge storms such as the recent floods in Queensland, Australia.

For more information on the work carried out by scientists and researchers at the Chilbolton facility and this NERC (link opens in a new window) funded research, please visit the Planet Earth podcast (link opens in a new window).

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