Weather Radar Technology Beyond NEXRAD by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Committee on Weather Radar Technology Beyond NEXRAD

File from the Committee on climate Radar know-how and the nationwide study Council. Softcover.

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1997) and the European COST-75 action (Collier, 2001) concluded that multiple-face phased array radar having no moving parts would not be economically feasible using the active antenna array module technologies currently envisioned. Several thousand transmit/receive (T/R) modules per face and at least four faces for full volumetric coverage requires on the order of 10,000 elements per radar. The total component cost may be greater than $10 million per radar, which seems an unlikely expenditure in the near future.

Html 30 WEATHER RADAR TECHNOLOGY BEYOND NEXRAD Technologies Phased array architectures may be based on different array technologies. The active antenna system uses individual T/R modules to integrate the transmitter, the receiver and the phase shifter with the antenna radiating elements. , 1997). Active antenna technology has not been cost effective in the past, but future monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) designs and high volume may allow economical production for the next weather radar system.

Refractivity Measurements Conventional radar data processing is tacitly directed at precipitation, and the other echoes are “clutter” that must be suppressed. Yet, radar information is considerably richer. For example, anomalous propagation ground echoes reveal changes in the vertical profiles of temperature and moisture in the lower troposphere. Specialized processing is required in order to obtain and use these ancillary sources for meteorological information. , 1997). As the refractive index of air in the propagation path changes, the time of travel of radar waves between the antenna and the fixed ground target varies slightly and causes a change in the measured ground target echo’s absolute phase.

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