Directors Message

William Mahoney, RAL Director
William Mahoney, RAL Director

Welcome to the Research Applications Laboratory's Annual Report for FY2018. RAL strives to be a world leader in performing collaborative end-to-end scientific research, development, and technology transfer, expanding the reach of atmospheric and related sciences and bringing them to bear in addressing important societal problems. Achieving this vision requires the willingness and ability to work in an interdisciplinary way with internal and external colleagues, collaborators and stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

RAL is an organization with annual expenditures of approximately $33M (FY18) and a transdisciplinary staff composed of approximately 170 scientists, software engineers, mathematicians, geographers, physicists, managers/administrators, and numerous personnel bringing expertise across many other disciplines. RAL is substantially a “soft-funded" laboratory. RAL’s NSF base funding represented 8.4% of RAL’s total budget and NSF special funds, and one-time NCAR reinvestments added another 3.4%. The NSF funds are highly leveraged with external sponsor funding used for advancing our scientific research, development, and societal impact mission.

RAL continues to make substantial contributions to the atmospheric science research community and the capabilities we develop support the global weather, water, and climate enterprise. Research areas that gained momentum in 2018 include the development and application of machine leaning methods, meso- to microscale numerical weather prediction, large eddy simulation (LES) acceleration using graphical processing unites (GPUs), wildland fire behavior prediction, air quality prediction, and the application of LES models to support unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and wind energy prediction.

I hope you will enjoy this year’s Report as it describes many of our exciting accomplishments over the past year and plans for the future.