731 Detection Performance of Meteorological Radars: Reflector and Phased-Array Antennas

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Richard Ice, Centuria Corporation, Norman, OK; and A. E. Daniel

Handout (393.2 kB)

The ability to reliably detect and process weak returns is an important performance aspect of meteorological radars. Radars utilizing classical reflector antennas and standard transmitters exhibit excellent sensitivity, supporting detection of both low intensity weather features as well as non-meteorological targets. Recent advances in technology support the evolution of weather radars to the use of active phased array systems that present opportunities as well as new challenges for radar performance. This paper reviews the theory, requirements, and design considerations supporting weak signal detection for weather radars. Engineering aspects of migrating detection performance analysis to phased array systems are addressed in this paper. Wavelength considerations are included along with important considerations such as resolution volume, available transmission power, and noise mitigation. This paper presents an assessment of the sensitivity performance of the polarimetric WSR-88D and includes examples of detection performance as an important aspect of forecast and warning operations.
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