34th Conference on Radar Meteorology


OU-PRIME: A High-Resolution Platform for Interdisciplinary Polarimetric Radar Research and Education at the University of Oklahoma

R. D. Palmer, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and A. V. Ryzhkov, G. Zhang, B. L. Cheong, T. Y. Yu, M. B. Yeary, P. B. Chilson, M. I. Biggerstaff, N. L. Hickmon, R. J. Doviak, D. S. Zrnic, M. Knight, N. E. Lawrence, F. Sloan, C. Goode, R. Stafford, R. Keene, P. Neilley, A. Turnbull, J. T. Snow, T. H. L. Williams, and D. Marsh

Five years ago, the University of Oklahoma (OU) established a strategic research initiative in radar meteorology. As part of the initiative, eleven new faculty members were hired directly in weather radar or closely related fields, a state-of-the-art radar laboratory was created called the Radar Innovations Lab, and several new relationships have been established with federal agencies and private-sector partners. Most of this activity has taken place on OU's Research Campus and has been led by the recently established Atmospheric Radar Research Center (ARRC) at OU. Although several operational and mission-oriented weather radars exist in Norman, a high-quality platform was needed where OU students and faculty could conduct exploratory advanced meteorological and engineering research and where students could study the technical aspects of weather radar without impacting the operational missions of existing radars. OU-PRIME (Polarimetric Radar for Innovations in Meteorology and Engineering) serves this important purpose and is operated and maintained by the ARRC. Working closely with OU engineers and scientists, the simultaneous dual-pol (SIDPOLTM) radar was designed and constructed by Weather Services International (WSI) / Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC) and was commissioned on April 4, 2009. An important and unique aspect of the radar is its superior sensitivity (> 10 dB over the S-band WSR-88D) given by the combination of its 1-MW transmitter, C-band wavelength, and extremely high angular resolution, with a half-power beamwidth of 0.5 degrees. In addition, the radar is capable of real-time I/Q time-series data storage/processing allowing implementation of sophisticated signal processing algorithms. Although just recently established, all indications are that OU-PRIME is producing extremely high-quality polarimetric data due in large part to its high-performance antenna. A detailed system description and preliminary data will be provided to exemplify the radar performance for high-resolution measurements of both severe weather and low-reflectivity phenomena, such as non-precipitating clouds, outflow boundaries, etc.

Poster Session 8, Radar Platforms
Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM, President's Ballroom

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