About the PACRITEX Project

PACRITEX Overview:

PACRITEX is an acronym for Pressure Acoustics Recording Inside Tornadoes EXperiments. Unlike ALL government funded projects, PACRITEX is a non-government, publicly and privately funded field research project that was started in 2015. We are self funded and funded from our supporters like you directly. While PACRITEX is a non-government field research program, our research and results are made available to the public - unlike government funded projects.We will also be live streaming in 2017 during our field research so you will be able to see not only all types of severe weather and tornadoes but also every aspect of our field research as it happens live, such as dropping our probes into the paths of tornadoes and supercells. If you would like to make a donation for this field research, you can do so by clicking on the donate button to the right. Any and all donations are very much appreciated!  

For our 2017 field research campaign, we will be participating and engaging in field research to collect data of the following:

1) Tornado Core Sampling including video from inside the tornado vortex 
2) Tornadoes and tornado proximity environments
3) Acoustic and Infrasonic  In-situ tornado core measurements

4) Videographic evidence of multi vortex stages within the tornado core 

The objectives of this research will be to verify and better understand the acoustic and infrasonic signatures pre tornadogenesis and post maintenance as well as the decay processes. Direction and goals of this research is aimed toward increasing tornado warning lead time via the received acoustic signatures pre, during and post tornadogenesis. The internal tornado near-surface sampling and video documentation will also provide essential ground truth data for structural engineering analysis. We will also be utilizing live social media type video feeds and live streaming that will be available to the general public as a whole. We believe this will provide a complete transparent visual of our daily work which is currently not seen with other government funded science projects ongoing or in the past.

Tornado Core Sampling

Three hardened instruments will be deployed in paths of tornadoes to collect the following datasets:

* Acoustic and Infrasonic signatures.

* Video sampling from inside the vortex core

* Free stream static Pressure perturbations  
* Temperature
* Humidity

The first thermodynamic probe is called the Infrasonic Pressure Acoustic Recorder (INPAR). All of the hardened instrumentation can collect and store the data sets. Measurements are recorded at 50 samples/second, and stored on non-volatile flash cards/data loggers as well as a microcomputer located inside of the probe. This data can also be transmitted wirelessly back to a central location/computer within line of sight of the INPAR probe. The INPAR also includes a 360 degree VR video camera for full visualization of the tornado core.  

The second thermodynamic probe is called CYCLOPS and is a full video probe that includes one 360 degree VR camera for full visualization of the tornado core. It will also house a Micro-barometer to measure the free stream pressure perturbations inside of the tornado core.


PACRITEX will also be utilizing a third probe called "Way Cool Junior 5.0" for videographic use only. This probe currently houses five GoPro cameras that face north, east, south and west, with one installed on top of the probe as well.  All three probes have the ability to capture video in 360 degrees. These capabilities will help to provide visualization using the 360 VR cameras for photogrammetry purposes to visualize/measure tornado-driven debris which has never been done before. Picutes of all three scientific and video probes can be seen below:


Dean and Hicks will coordinating the in-situ tornado core measurements, as well as the overall PACRITEX mission.

Environment Sampling of Tornadoes

There have been abundant kinematic data sets gathered by mobile radar of the tornadic region of supercells, the number of quality mobile mesonet or sticknet thermodynamic data sets of the flow field proximate to the tornadic region, generally within the supercell rear-flank downdraft (RFD) outflow, are comparatively rare. (Samaras 2010) However, even more rare, are the research regarding the acoustic/infrasonic and free stream pressure differentials in and near tornadoes and supercells. This is what we intend to research and focus on.     


The primary investigators are Lanny Dean, Meteorologist, David Moran, Randy Hicks, Lisa McGeough, Pat Winn, Chris Rice and Paden Gordon. These individuals will provide overall coordination, deployment, data quality control, and program management.


Pressure ACoustic Research In Tornadoes EXperiment