Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Wayne Hocking, Professor


Contact Information

Office: PAB 304
Tel: (519) 661-2111 x83652
E-mail: whocking [at] uwo [dot] ca

Research web page

Research Areas

Atmospheric Dynamics

Research Interests

The Atmospheric Dynamics Group studies dynamical motions in the atmosphere at heights from ground level to 100 km altitude. We use a variety of instruments, including radar, radiosonde balloons, high resolution turbulence probes and theoretical modeling. We are especially interested in motions at small scales, such as turbulence and internal buoyancy (gravity) waves, but also study longer term motions like atmospheric tides and planetary waves.

Our principal experimental research instruments are atmospheric radars, and we operate two wind-profilers, four meteor radars and jointly collaborate with Prof. J. MacDougall in sharing an MF radar. These instruments all measure atmospheric wind motions, although in different ways. The wind-profiler radars utilize radio-wave scatter from inhomogeneities in the clear air which are generated by turbulence and other small-scale phemomena, whilst the meteor radars use scatter from meteor trails at 80 to 100 km altitude. The MF radar uses inhomogeneities in electron density concentrations in the region between 60 and 100 km altitude. In all cases, we employ the Doppler shift of the back-scattered radio waves to calculate the velocities of the scattering entities and hence the velocity of the atmospheric winds at the height of scatter.

Two of our radars are located near London, Ontario (close to the University of Western Ontario) and two are at Resolute bay in Nunavut (Canada), with each site possessing a wind-profiler radar and a meteor radar. The MF radar is located at the London site. In addition we have meteor radars at Yellowknife in the North-West Territories of Canada, and at Socorro in New Mexico (USA). The Socorro radar is in fact provided by Mardoc Inc, through a leasing arrangement with UWO.

We employ these instruments, together with occasional radiosonde flights, to study atmospheric motions and hence infer information about the ways in which energy and momentum are carried around in the atmosphere. This helps us to better understand the atmosphere, and in the longer term helps improve our ability to forecast atmospheric events.



  1. Hocking, W.K., A. Hocking, D.G. Hocking, and M. Garbanzo-Salas, "Windprofiler optimization using digital deconvolution procedures" , Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2013.08.025i, 2013.
  2. Dehghan, A., W.K. Hocking and R. Srinivasan, "Comparisons between multiple in-situ aircraft turbulence measurements and radar in the troposphere", J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2013.10.009, 2013.
  3. Swarnalingam, N., W. K. Hocking and J. R. Drummond, "Long-term aspect-sensitivity measurements of Polar Mesosphere Summer Echoes (PMSE) at Resolute Bay using 51.5 MHz VHF radar" , J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., 73(9), 957-964, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2010.09.032, 2011.
  4. Hocking, W.K., "A Review of Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere (MST) Radar Developmentsand Studies, circa 1997-2008" , J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., 73(9), 848-882, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2010.12.009, 2011.
  5. Fritts, D.C., D. Janches, H. Iimura, W. K. Hocking, N. J. Mitchell, R. G. Stockwell, B. Fuller, B. Vandepeer, J. Hormaechea, C. Brunini, and H. Levato, "Southern Argentina Agile Meteor Radar: System design and initial measurements of large-scale winds and tides" , J. Geophys. Res., 115, D18112, doi:10.1029/2010JD013850, 2010.

[ Please go here for a more extensive list of publications]


Physics 259:  Second Year Laboratory Course
P1026: Engineering Physics
P1402B: Engineering Physics
P279Y,379Y,479Y: Seminar
P3400B: Introduction to Thermodynamics (P3400B)
Physics 491P4251: Quantum Mechanics II
P4930A: Statistical Mechanics II

P9724A: Antennas and Radar in Physics
Waves and Turbulence in the Atmosphere
Physics of Lightning
Antenna Theory
Waves and Turbulence