Research

August 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Houser Article Describes New Rapid-Scanning Doppler Radar System

Dr. Jana Houser, Assistant Professor of Geography, co-authored an article on “A Mobile Rapid-Scanning X-band Polarimetric (RaXPol) Doppler Radar System” in the July 2013 Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.

Her co-authors were Andrew L. Pazmany and James B. Mead of ProSensing Inc. in Amherst, MA, and Howard B. Bluestein and Jeffrey C. Snyder of the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.

Abstract: A novel, rapid-scanning, X-band (3-cm wavelength), polarimetric (RaXPol), mobile radar was developed for severe-weather research. The radar employs a 2.4-m-diameter dual-polarized parabolic dish antenna on a high-speed pedestal capable of rotating the antenna at 1808 s21. The radar can complete a 10-elevation-step volume scan in about 20 s, while maintaining a 180-record-per-second data rate. The transmitter employs a 20-kW peak-power traveling wave tube amplifier that can generate pulse compression and frequencyhopping
waveforms. Frequency hopping permits the acquisition of many more independent samples possible than without frequency hopping, making it possible to scan much more rapidly than conventional radars. Standard data products include vertically and horizontally polarized equivalent radar reflectivity factor, Doppler velocity mean and standard deviation, copolar cross-correlation coefficient, and differential phase. This paper describes the radar system and illustrates the capabilities of the radar through selected analyses of data collected in the U.S. central plains during the 2011 spring tornado season. Also noted are opportunities for experimenting with different signal-processing techniques to reduce beam smearing, increase sensitivity, and improve range resolution.

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