8B.1 An Update on the Advanced Technology Demonstrator at the National Severe Storms Laboratory

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 8:30 AM
155 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Sebastian M. Torres, CIMMS, Norman, OK; and C. D. Curtis, E. Forren, S. Gregg, I. R. Ivic, J. R. Mendoza, D. Schvartzman, C. Schwarz, D. Wasielewski, and A. Zahrai

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified evolutionary radar mission capabilities aimed at addressing current and future mission needs to support National Weather Service (NWS) warning operations. Important requirements driving the next generation of weather surveillance radars include improvements in data quality, access to rapid-update volumetric data, and the ability to perform focused and tailored weather observations. Systems based on phased-array antennas are promising solutions, and significant R&D investments over the last two decades have contributed to a growing understanding of Phased-Array-Radar (PAR) technologies. As a major milestone, NOAA partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop the Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD). The ATD is located at the National Weather Radar Testbed in Norman, Oklahoma and is the first full-scale, S-band, dual-polarization, active, electronically scanned PAR for weather observations. The ATD leverages several prior investments to provide a flexible and affordable radar system with which to evaluate performance and identify residual risk areas. For the past several months, engineering teams from the National Severe Storms Lab, the University of Oklahoma, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and General Dynamics Mission Systems have made significant strides towards preparing the ATD for its initial operating capability in the spring of 2020. When operational, the ATD is expected to provide important information about PAR polarimetric performance (including calibration), the maturity of this technology, and its suitability to meet NWS mission-critical requirements. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the planned operational capabilities of the ATD, an update on progress to date, and a roadmap for engineering and meteorological research that will help prepare NOAA for the next generation of weather-surveillance radars.
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