15B.2 Development of a Mobile C-band Polarimetric Atmospheric Imaging Radar (PAIR)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017: 4:15 PM
St. Gallen (Swissotel Chicago)
Jorge Salazar, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and T. Y. Yu, C. Fulton, M. McCord, R. D. Palmer, H. B. Bluestein, B. L. Cheong, M. I. Biggerstaff, B. M. Isom, J. M. Kurdzo, R. J. Doviak, X. Wang, and M. B. Yeary

The University of Oklahoma (OU) has a long history of severe local storms research and
field program activities using mobile radars, and has always pushed the limits of technology
to further the science. In 2015, OU was awarded a large, five-year project by the National
Science Foundation (NSF) to design, fabricate, and commission a next generation mobile
polarimetric phased-array radar. Based largely on promising results already obtained by
the Atmospheric Imaging Radar (AIR), and experience gained from the development of an
all-digital polarimetric phased array radar in the Advanced Radar Research Center (ARRC),
this new Polarimetric Atmospheric Imaging Radar (PAIR) will be capable of the high spatial
resolution afforded by a mobile system, with unprecedented temporal resolution using an
imaging technique. The PAIR will be a shared facility that has the potential to allow new and
important discoveries by scientists from around the world about tornado genesis, and other
severe weather phenomena such as lightning and hurricanes.
The concept, functionalities, and progress of PAIR will be reported in this presentation.
Compared to AIR and other existing PAR systems, the new proposed system achieves dualpolarization
through novel polarimetric phased-array antenna design; improved detection
capability through integrated solutions provided by solid state power amplifier (SSPA)
technology; faster update time through digital beamforming (DBF) in elevation and
electronic scanning in azimuth; and a robust structure for fast deployment in severe
environments. As a result, PAIR is capable of providing volumetric polarimetric
measurements of 90o×20o with native a broadside beamwidth of 1.5o x 1.5o, and range
resolution of 10 m in approximately 2.5 s. The C-band architecture of the PAIR provides
significantly less attenuation than typical X-band mobile platforms, better aliasing
velocities, and offers a differentiating tornadic debris estimate compared to most mobile
platforms. PAIR represents a new paradigm for meteorological observations that will
enable the exploration of new scientific frontiers related to severe storms such as
tornadoes, hurricanes, numerical weather prediction and data assimilation, lightning, and
will significantly advance polarimetric phased array technologies.
This paper focuses on the overall description of PAIR, design trade-offs, and predicted
performance of the radar system. Specifically, preliminary results of the radar front-end
subsystem will be discussed, such as the high performance radiating panel the preliminary
performance of transmit and receive (T/R) modules designed in a tile configuration.
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