Radar and Remote Sensing

Weather Observation Using the Atmospheric Imaging Radar and Adaptive Beamforming

Feng Nai
ARRC/School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

12 September 2013, 1:15 PM

National Weather Center, Room 1350
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Traditional weather radars, such as the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D), use parabolic reflector antennas to transmit a pencil beam with a fixed beam pattern. With the development of phased-array technology, the next generation of weather radars is likely to exploit phased-array antennas. An advantage of phased-array radars that has not been fully investigated is the application of digital beamforming for weather observations. With adaptive beamforming, the radar can change the beam pattern to reduce the impact of ground clutter and other interference on the estimation of meteorological variables. Imaging techniques that were previously used in the profiling community can be adapted to weather radars to achieve even faster volume update times. The Atmospheric Imaging Radar (AIR) is a X-band mobile weather radar that is capable of utilizing imaging techniques to collect volumetric data on the order of seconds. Hardware and software upgrades to the AIR were installed in the past year to improve data quality and collection speed. Moreover, the AIR was deployed in Spring 2013 in a field campaign to collect data on severe storms. This presentation will discuss the latest upgrades to the AIR and show preliminary results of applying adaptive beamforming to the data collected in the spring. The initial results of adaptive beamforming is encouraging but significant challenges remain before it can be used operationally.

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Radar and Remote Sensing Seminar Series website