The platform used for the existing C-band radar will become the platform for a new X-band polarimetric radar dubbed the NSSL-OU X-band Polarimetric (NO-XP) radar. The NO-XP design consists of a transmitter with a microwave signal splitter before the pedestal. This provides the STaR capability without using an antenna-mounted receiver. The completed X-band radar will be a 1.0° beamwidth dual-polarimetric radar capable of measuring the same suite of variables as the C-band polarimetric radar.
Mobility will enable the systems to be used in a wide range of studies including: quantitative rainfall estimation in land-falling hurricanes; hydrometeor classification in mesoscale convective systems and supercell thunderstorms; the relationships between cloud dynamics, microphysics, and electrification (making use of the complimentary 3-D lightning mapping system in central Oklahoma); the impact of assimilating polarimetric data in numerical weather prediction; and fundamental interpretation of polarimetric signatures at frequencies that are affected by resonance. In keeping with the collaborative nature of the SMART radar program, both of the new polarimetric radars will be made available to other users. Thus, these systems will become part of the national infrastructure for atmospheric science research and education.