Previous phased array radar technology development has been limited to military radars due to their relatively high cost, but recent advances in the wireless industry have driven costs down for civilian applications. The Unified Research and Development Plan for Multifunction Phases Array Radar (FCM-P37-2011) published by the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM) has previously identified three key technical risk areas, namely 1) satisfactory implementation of dual polarization for weather; 2) multifunction performance; and 3) affordability. Both NOAA and the FAA have been funding some investigation into extending the phased array radar technology to dual polarization which has not yet been demonstrated by current military phased array radars.
This paper will highlight the recent accomplishments in the joint FAA/NOAA risk reduction and mitigation efforts. Additionally, the future plans for MPAR risk reduction efforts, the need for a demonstrator/prototype, and development time-lines will be discussed.