Velocity Estimation Improvements for the ASR-9 Weather Systems Processor

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
James M. Kurdzo, Advanced Radar Research Center, School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. Y. N. Cho and R. S. Frankel
Manuscript (9.6 MB)

The Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) is a rapid-scanning terminal aircraft detection system deployed at airports around the United States. To provide cost-effective wind shear detection capability at medium-density airports, the Weather Systems Processor (WSP) was developed and added on to the ASR-9 at 35 sites. The WSP on the ASR-9 is capable of utilizing dual fan-beam estimates of reflectivity and velocity in order to detect low-level features such as gust fronts, wind shear, and microbursts, which would normally be best detectable by a low-scanning pencil beam radar. An upgrade to the ASR-9 WSP, which is currently ongoing, allows for additional computational complexity in the front-end digital signal processing algorithms compared to previous iterations of the system. This paper will explore ideas for improving velocity estimates, including low-level dual beam weight estimation, de-aliasing, and noise reduction. A discussion of the unique challenges afforded by the ASR-9's block-stagger pulse repetition time is presented, along with thoughts on how to overcome limitations which arise from rapid-scanning and the inherent lack of pulses available for coherent averaging.