Session 12R.4A Operational Use of Pulse Compression in Weather Radar

Friday, 28 October 2005: 4:30 PM
Alvarado ABCD (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Fritz OHora, Sigmet, Inc., Westford, MA; and J. Bech

Presentation PDF (233.7 kB)

Two weather radar systems operationally using pulse compression have been recently deployed and a third is to follow this year. This represents the operational exploitation of a technology that has been used only in research systems in the past.

This paper presents data examples from the radars and contrasts the use of pulse compression waveforms with more traditional non-modulated pulsed waveforms. It will be seen that when operating in pulse compression mode, sub-100 meter range resolution can be achieved with pulses of 40 microseconds duration while the radar benefits of the great sensitivity of long pulses. It will also be seen that traditional problems associated with pulse compression such as high range-time side lobes can be suppressed with advanced techniques of waveform amplitude and frequency modulation.

This technology represents an operational advantage when the use of coherent transmitters is becoming more popular than magnetron based transmitters due to frequency assignment concerns and increased interference from stationary and mobile emitters. It also offers more affordable access to coherent transmitter technology because pulse compression transmitters are low peak power and thus less expensive than their more traditional klystron counterparts.

The data presented in this paper will demonstrate the high resolution, high sensitivity that can be achieved with pulse compression technology with low peak power transmitters.

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