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Capel Dewi Atmospheric Observatory (CDAO)

Status: Not defined
Publication State:


The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) Capel Dewi Atmospheric Observatory (CDAO) is situated in a rural valley location (52.4245°N, -4.0055°E) 6 km inland from the coastal town of Aberystwyth in west Wales, UK. Prior to April 2020 it known as the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) MST Radar Facility at Aberystwyth (MSTRF). The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) operates a number of meteorological instruments at the site in support of its long term measurement programme. Most of the datasets span between 10 and 20 years. They are all openly-accessible through the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA). NCAS also provides access to output from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model for this location.

The facility host a range of atmospheric instruments including the UK's MST radar, surface meteorological instrumentation and lidars. The facility is also able to host guest instruments. The facility was officially opened on 12th November 1990. The facility also operates instrumentation at the nearby Frongoch site.

It has WMO site ID: 03501. See linked documentation for the site's entry in the MIDAS Station database.

The site is located at 45m above mean sea level. Prior to February 2020 the height of the site was given as 50m above mean sea-level.

Site WIGOS id: 0-826-300-1 for ceilometer data (also know as 'ALC' data) and 0-826-300-2 for wind profiler network data. Prior to this a temporary WIGIS id 0-20000-0-03501 was used. (Note, these WIGOS IDs were specifically assigned to the production of the ceilometer data from this site. Alternative WIGOS IDs have been provided for the site for other data types).

Site WIGOS id: 0-826-300-1. See online documentation for link to station details in the Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review (OSCAR) Tool.

Abbreviation: capel-dewi, cdao, ncas-cdao, 03501, 0-20000-0-03501, capel-dewi-atmospheric-observatory, 0-826-300-2, 1, 0-826-300-1
Keywords: MST, MSTRF, AMOF

keywords:      MST, MSTRF, AMOF

Platform: Frongoch farm site, UK

platformType:      land_station
location:      GeographicBoundingBox: MST radar array
Previously used record indentifiers:

More Information (under review)

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere (MST) Radar at Aberystwyth is:

  • the UK's most powerful and versatile wind-profiling instrument
  • provides measurements of the vertical as well as the horizontal components of the wind
  • is operated predominantly in the ST mode, covering the approximate altitude range 2 - 20 km at 300 m resolution
  • is operated on a continuous basis, with a cycle time of a few minutes
  • can, under suitable circumstances, provide information about atmospheric stability, turbulence, humidity fields, and precipitation
  • has been making mesospheric observations, i.e. covering the altitude range 56 - 94 km, continually since April 2005

The data products are freely available through the British Atmospheric Data Centre.

The radar site is located at Capel Dewi (52.42°N, 4.01°W), near Aberystwyth in west Wales (UK).

The Facility additionally operates and hosts a number of instruments whose observations complement those made by the MST radar. Other data products include surface measurements of meteorological parameters (i.e. wind-speed and direction, temperature, pressure, humidity, solar radiation and rain rate), cloud base altitudes and sky images.

Platform location