34th Conference on Radar Meteorology


Progress towards a prototype radar for renewal of the UK weather radar network

Tim Darlington, UK Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom; and M. Edwards, R. Riley, V. Lissaman, and J. Sugier

The majority of the UK Weather Radar Systems are between 10 and 30 years old and are approaching the end of their design life. Staged improvements to the transmitter, receiver and signal processing have extended this lifetime. Nevertheless managing obsolescence of the mechanical and electrical parts is becoming increasingly challenging. Also the current system's capability means that future user requirements may not be met.

A strong and successful history of internal development has led the UK Met Office to consider the possibility of an in-house solution – a so called “Open System Architecture” (OSA) approach to the network renewal. The OSA solution proposes to continue the current network philosophy of buying in appropriate state of the art radar sub-systems. Hardware components are selected from a wide range of manufacturers and suppliers, ensuring the best elements available are utilised. This solution secures sustained operation and the opportunity for capability enhancement as future requirements demand.

The new radar's transmission polarization is switchable between single plane linear and 45 degree dual polarization. The new processing system (Cyclops-DP) is an evolution of the Cyclops-D series of receiver/processors and as such includes patented IP, designed to make measurements of refractivity with magnetron based radars easier and more accurate. Furthermore, Cyclops-DP is to incorporate an antenna mounted receiver and digitizer architecture. To address maintenance and thermal control issues, a design decision was made to minimise the processing carried out at the top of the tower. To that end, digitization and digital down conversion occurs in antenna mounted components. These data are then streamed via a fibre optic link to a PC in the radar equipment room where the more complex signal processing is carried out.

In this paper we report the UK Met Office's experiences and an initial evaluation of the performance of the new system.

Poster Session 10, Advanced Radar Technologies II
Thursday, 8 October 2009, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM, President's Ballroom

Previous paper  Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page