NCAR /ATD ISS Site Survey

IHOP_2002 is the International H2O Project to study measurement of water vapor in the atmosphere. An intensive campaign will be carried out in Kansas and Oklahoma in May and June of 2002 involving many scientists and instruments from several countries. More information is available at

This site survey is for a multiple instrument site in the Oklahoma panhandle, where the following instruments will be sited (with contact people):

In addition, other groups plan to drop by with their instruments at various times during the project.

Bill Brown and Mike Susedik conducted a site survey on 11 and 12 Feb 02, this report is a product of that survey.

Site Selection

Various factors were considered during site selection, including: S-Pol will be located at in the Oklahoma panhandle about 3 miles east and 3 miles south of Bryans Corner which is 15 miles north of Perryton TX. The coordinates are 36° 34.308´ N, 100° 46.967´ W, Alt 890 m. DeLorme Oklahoma Gazetteer: south side of E0300 Rd between N1240 and N1250.

These requirements concentrated the search to a region about 15 - 20 km east of S-Pol; further east and the region west of S-Pol had more uneven terrain. One road in particular, marked as E0310 Rd on DeLorme Oklahoma Gazetteer (although such designations were unfamiliar to the locals) was the most fruitful. This dirt road had a multiple phone line cable and 3 phase power; other nearby roads lacked one or other, were along varying terrain, or some other requirement wasn't met. 3 sites were selected.

A map of the area near the site: high resoln (1.9M), low resoln (83k). The area shown measures 15.6 x 10.6 miles (24.9 x 16.9 km). The site numbers (towards the eastern edge of the map), refer to the numbers below. Most of the area has roads every mile, the lot numbers below refer to the county's designation for the square mile blocks.

1. Abandoned Homestead.

Beaver county T1N Map 22 R23E Section 8 (SW corner)
DeLorme Oklahoma Gazetteer: north side of E0310 Rd just east of N1340 Rd
36° 33.500´ N, 100° 36.371´ W, Alt 850 m

We intend to use this site for all of the above instruments, except TAOS. Click here for a preliminary layout plan for the site.

The site is an abandoned homestead of about two acres. The ground was mostly firm and grassed over. There are some debris and old machinery littered around the site, and there are also foundations for the demolished buildings, however most of the site is clear. The basement of the old house is near the front of the site and is filled with debris. A 3-phase power line runs next to the site, and an underground phone cable with junction box is just across the road. The site measures approx 120 by 100 meters, the surrounding land is farmed and the farmer would prefer we kept off it.

2. Old oil well field.

Beaver county T1N Map 22 R23E Section 16 (NW corner)
DeLorme Oklahoma Gazetteer: south side of E0310 Rd just east of N1350 Rd
36° 33.489´ N, 100° 35.142´ W, Alt 850 m

We intend to operate TAOS at this site.

This grassy field is about a mile east of the above site on the same road. There are two abandoned oil wells here about 200 - 300 meters from the road. One is in the centre of the field with just a couple of pipes sticking up; the other is on the eastern edge of the field in a different property and has a large pump and oil tank battery. Both have rough access roads, although to use both roads we would need to pay two landowners. The ground in the field and on the access roads seem firm. Vehicles should have no problems pulling off the access roads onto the field and any trailers requiring very firm ground could remain on the access roads. The farmer has no plans to plough the area and may make hay from it in late summer.

There is a phone junction box on the same side of the road. A 3-phase power line runs across the road from the site and there are disconnected underground 3 phase power cables that run to the wells. There are disconnected transformers on a power pole that may be serviceable.

3. Old farm house.

Beaver county T1N Map 21 Section 24 (SE corner)
DeLorme Oklahoma Gazetteer: north side of E0330 Rd just west of N1330 Rd
36° 31.769´ N, 100° 37.925´ W, Alt 860 m

We do not plan to use this site, however it might be useful as a backup site.

The site is 2 - 3 miles south west of the above sites. There is a farm house that hasn't been lived in for a few years on a grassy lot of about an acre (about 60 by 200 meters). The house is boarded up, but seems sound and may be useful for storage. The farmer operates a cattle yard and farm shed right next to the site, (access is through the site) and we would need to ensure we don't disturb this activity. There is 3 phase power and a phone line running to the house (probably disconnected), and a phone junction box nearby. The ground seems firm and just away from the site to the north and west, the land slopes down 2 or 3 meters. The dirt road running past this site can apparently get very muddy in wet weather.


The phone company reports that there are 7 phone lines available in the cable that services the sites, however the lines are all standard, there are no high speed lines available. It appears therefore we could make one line available to each of the instruments, plus one spare. It may be preferable to share the lines between some instruments to make more lines available for voice or downloading images from S-Pol or other sites.

The local phone company is the Panhandle Telephone Coop Inc PTCI, based in Guymon. Useful phones books for the whole area are available from Feist or online at

The site is in line of sight to S-Pol, so it might be possible to run a radio-based data link to S-Pol where there will be a T1 link. The T1 link will be busy transferring S-Pol images to the Norman ops center, and there will be some capacity for transfers from our site. The University of Massachusetts group have offered the use of a wavelan radio link, and we would need to run fiber optics cables to each trailer from that.

We were able to use Nextel cell phones from the sites, however coverage was mainly analogue and somewhat spotty with static. The signal level meter on the phone was typically at level 2 out of 3. External elevated antennas would probably help.

Comments on sites

We currently favor the first two sites. We plan to place the ISS at one (probably site 1, the Abandoned Homestead) and invite the other instruments to join us there, and operate TAOS (the tethered balloon) at the other (site 2) about a mile away. The reason for doing this is that the TAOS balloon drifts around a lot in the wind and presents a strong clutter target for the profiler. Having the lidars and profilers within, say, 50 - 100 m of each other would improve their chances of tracking the same eddies.


Nearby Towns

The largest nearby town is Liberal, Kansas, about 50 miles drive to the northwest. It's population is about 20,000 and has a range of services, including a small airport with daily flights to Denver. (The next nearest airport is Amarillo, Texas). Liberal hosts the International Pancake Day and Dorothy's House and The Land of OZ theme park.

Other towns are Guymon OK (pop 10,000) about 60 miles to the west, Beaver OK (hosts the World Cow Chip Throwing Championship, pop 1600) about 20 miles north, Perryton TX ("Wheatheart of the Nation", pop 8000) about 25 miles drive SW, and Booker TX (pop 1200) about 10 miles drive to the south. Beaver houses the offices for Beaver county.

Driving Directions

From Liberal, KS, drive south on Route 83 about 30 miles to Bryans Corner, then east on Route 412 for 8 miles to the Balko turnoff (note that this is a couple of miles east of Balko school), drive south for 4 miles (4 blocks), drive east for 4.25 miles (4 blocks). The abandoned homestead site is on the north side of the road.

From the east, driving along Route 412, at Elmwood head south on Route 23 for 4 miles, then drive east 4.75 miles to the site.

ATD IHOP Support Page / ATD / NCAR

Bill Brown, Email: wbrown at
Last modified: 5 April 2002
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