733 The NCAR/EOL 449-MHz Wind Profilers

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
John Sobtzak, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and W. O. J. Brown, A. Lee, T. Hock, and C. Martin

Handout (1.2 MB)

The NCAR/EOL 449 MHz Wind Profilers

John Sobtzak, William Brown, Alexander Lee, Terry Hock, and Charlie Martin

National Center for Atmospheric Research / Earth Observing Laboratory

NCAR / EOL, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA

Two 449 MHz Wind Profilers have been developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Earth Observing Laboratory to provide the atmospheric research community with wind profiling radar systems that offer more flexibility than traditional wind profilers. The 449 MHz Modular Wind Profiler uses a unique modular design enabling the system to be scaled to suit the needs of a particular experiment. Antenna modules can be combined together to probe high into the troposphere, or can be deployed separately in smaller dispersed groups to probe the boundary layer over an extended area. Similarly, the Mobile 449 MHz Wind Profiler is a new, mobile version of the system under development that can be installed on the back of a pickup truck or small trailer for rapid deployment or chase operations.

Both systems are capable of rapid wind measurements using a Spaced Antenna (SA) array method and high vertical resolution through the use of Range IMaging (RIM) techniques. Additionally, both systems utilize an advanced power amplifier module developed at NCAR/EOL that enables RF power to be distributed around the antenna arrays, reducing cabling and its associated loss and ‘ringing’ of the RF pulse. A modular, digital software-defined radio (SDR) is also under development that will further simplify and improve the modularity and performance of the systems.

In this paper, an overview and functionality of both systems will be presented along with development and operational statuses. Data collected with the Modular Wind Profiler deployed in both 3- and 7-panel configurations while deployed to multiple field projects, including DEEPWAVE in New Zealand, METCRAX-II in Arizona, and PECAN in Kansas, is presented to illustrate system functionality and capabilities. Expected performance of the Mobile system is also presented and discussed. Future development plans and schedules are also presented for both systems.

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