ARMing the Edge: Designing Edge Computing-capable Machine Learning Algorithms to Target ARM Doppler Lidar Processing

Journal Article
Artificial Intelligence for the Earth Systems, pp. 1-38, 2023
Robert C. Jackson, Bhupendra A. Raut, Dario Dematties, Scott M. Collis, Nicola Ferrier, Pete Beckman, Rajesh Sankaran, Yongho Kim, Seongha Park, Sean Shahkarami, Rob Newsom
Abstract There is a need for long term observations of cloud and precipitation fall speeds for validating and improving rainfall forecasts from climate models. To this end, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) User Facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) site at Lamont, OK hosts five ARM Doppler lidars that can measure cloud and aerosol properties. In particular, the ARM Doppler lidars record Doppler spectra that contain information about the fall speeds of cloud and precipitation particles. However, due to bandwidth and storage constraints, the Doppler spectra are not routinely stored. This calls for the automation of cloud and rain detection in ARM Doppler lidar data so that the spectral data in clouds can be selectively saved and further analyzed. During the ARMing the Edge field experiment, a Waggle node capable of performing machine learning applications in situ was deployed at ARM’s SGP site for this purpose. In this paper, we develop and test four algorithms for the Waggle node to automatically classify ARM Doppler lidar data. We demonstrate that supervised learning using a ResNet50-based classifier will classify 97.6% of the clear air and 94.7% of cloudy images correctly, outperforming traditional peak detection methods. We also show that a convolutional autoencoder paired with k- means clustering identifies ten clusters in the ARM Doppler lidar data. Three clusters correspond to mostly clear conditions with scattered high clouds, and seven others correspond to cloudy conditions with varying cloud base heights.