SPRITE AND LIGHTNING RESEARCH AT YUCCA RIDGE FIELD STATION
FMA Research, Inc., founded in 1983 as a consortium of atmospheric scientists providing basic and applied consulting services to industry and government operates the Yucca Ridge Field Station (YRFS) on an 80 acre site 20 km northeast of Ft. Collins, CO.
YRFS conducts observations of High Plains thunderstorms, atmospheric electrical phenomena, regional air quality, orographic clouds and local wind systems.
Each summer since 1993, YRFS has hosted international SPRITES campaigns for coordinated optical and RF measurements of lightning-induced TLEs in the middle atmosphere under the auspices of NASA KSC and OSS, DOE, DTRA, NSF, LANL and USAF Phillips Lab.
The SPRITES'99 effort included coordinated measurements of lightning and sprites in support of the NASA Stratospheric Sprites Balloon program. During STEPS 2000, YRFS will provide TLE detection for this multi-agency study of High Plains thunderstorms.
Since 1993, YRFS has hosted over 40 scientists and students from 17 organizations in five nations. In 1996, the physical facility was expanded to a 2600 sq. ft. climate controlled, 24-hour laboratory to support the current staff and a number of visiting investigators.
Situated on the highest terrain within 20 km, YRFS has a panoramic view of the Front Range and the High Plains permitting line-of-sight measurements for hundreds of kilometers along with a radio-quiet environment. A command and control facility allows real-time monitoring of High Plains storms, lightning and sprites via optical and RF methods. Microwave broadband Internet access permits coordination with offsite cooperating investigators as required. A numerical modeling, forecasting and analysis capability employs advanced regional and cloud scale codes, such as MM5 and ARPS.
FMA maintains an extensive archive of meteorological and lightning data and advanced meteorological analysis and display capabilities. FMA also specializes in broadcast-quality video production for presenting complex scientific results to professional and lay audiences.
FMA is located near several research establishments conducting research relevant to this effort, including Colorado State University/CIRA, NOAA (FSL and ETL), NCAR, and the University of Colorado.
SPRITE DATA
Final 3 year report from MRC/FMA/ MIT to DOE


STEPS 2000 at Yucca Ridge Field Station
Back, L to R, Larry Gardner and Prof. Micchael Taylor (Utah State), Fernanda de Sao Sabas (University of Alaska), Judy Fossum (University of Northern Colorado), Elizabeth Gerken (Stanford). Front, L to R, Rob Moore and Victor Pasco (Stanford), Tom Nelson, (FMA) Photographer: Walt Lyons (FMA)