Robert Banta

Research Meteorologist, retired

Atmospheric Remote Sensing



Dr. Robert Banta is a senior research meteorologist in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), located in the Atmospheric Remote Sensing Branch, Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) of NOAA in Boulder, Colorado, from which he recently retired. In this capacity he designs, develops, and carries out atmospheric research projects that feature lidar systems, analyzes remote sensing data, and advances understanding of mesoscale wind systems and atmospheric boundary layer processes, emphasizing insight gained from new lidar-based observational technologies. He has served as a principal investigator on successful lidar campaigns involving atmospheric boundary-layer properties (including the stable boundary layer [SBL] and its relationship to low-level jet [LLJ] properties), air pollution and air quality studies, and mountain and other complex-terrain flows. During the past decade, the Doppler-lidar studies have become increasingly focused on wind energy applications, as it became apparent that SBL, LLJ, and complex-terrain studies had direct applicability to wind-energy problems. Dr. Banta served as the CSL P.I. for the laboratory-wide collaboration with the Department of Energy and other participants, called the Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP-2), a measurement and modeling campaign that includes an 18-month field phase. During this phase CSD deployed two remotely operated Doppler lidars to the Columbia River Basin of Oregon-Washington, which was a first for a project of this duration. An important product of the resulting dataset has been a demonstration of the use of Doppler lidar for numerical weather prediction model verification and improvement.


1982   Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523. Dissertation: An Observational and Numerical Study of Mountain Boundary-Layer Flow

1975   M.S. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523. Thesis: On Determining Vertical Wind Velocities from Eole Constant-Density Balloon Data

1968   B.S. Duke University, Durham, NC, 27706.


Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Mesoscale Meteorology, Wind Energy Meteorology, Air Quality Meteorology, Complex-Terrain and Mountain Meteorology, Atmospheric Lidar Measurements (Doppler, DIAL), NWP Model Evaluation using Lidar

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

last modified: December 29, 2023