Exploiting NWRT PAR capabilities to improve temporal data resolution

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Thursday, 21 January 2010: 3:45 PM
B218 (GWCC)
Pamela L. Heinselman, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and S. M. Torres

Presentation PDF (2.4 MB)

Faster scanning of hazardous weather with radar is a primary need of users. This need is exemplified by the implementation of faster volume coverage patterns by the National Weather Service, responses to studies of user needs, and reports by the National Research Council. However, traditional scanning strategies modified to provide faster updates require trade-offs such as losses in data quality and/or spatial resolution.

The electronic beam steering of the National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar (NWRT PAR) allows for collection of higher temporal resolution data without the inertial limitations of mechanically scanning radars. That is, electronic steering allows scanning focused solely on areas of interest without having to collect data contiguously. This capability, termed adaptive scanning, produces higher temporal resolution data without sacrificing data quality or spatial resolution through more efficient use of radar resources.

This paper describes the technical PAR capabilities, software improvements, and scanning strategy developments that have led to the advancement of a SPY-1A antenna from a military-surveillance radar to a weather-surveillance radar with basic adaptive scanning capability. Individual weather events sampled by the NWRT PAR illustrate the evolution of high-temporal sampling capabilities of the NWRT PAR since spring 2007. Future enhancements to improve current adaptive scanning capabilities are discussed.