1487 Evaluation, Calibration and Testing Radio Frequency (RF) Components

Wednesday, 25 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Milton Martinez, NOAA, Toa Alta, PR

The current Tail Doppler Radar (TDR) mounted on NOAA’s WP-3D hurricane research

aircraft has been an incredible tool to collect in situ wind velocity and precipitation data for

NOAA’s customers in the fields of hurricane research and reconnaissance. Over the years the

Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) has modified and upgraded the TDR which has improved data

collection and has even allowed the transmission of real time data to the users on the ground.

However, the current system is becoming obsolete due to the age of major radio frequency (RF)

components. Some components are no longer manufactured while others are cost prohibitive to

have made for the specialized system. The engineering staff at AOC has developed a new TDR

design with modern commercial off the shelf components. The new RF components all have a

very tight set of specifications that are critical to the success of the design. It is necessary to test

each component using solid proven engineering analysis in order to determine if each device

complies with manufacturing specifications and can be successfully used with the newly

designed NOAA TDR. The TDR modification has provided a way to maintain the improvements

of data collection while using a more cost-effective design. This ensures the preservation of life

and property by continuing to provide accurate hurricane and atmospheric weather information

in a timely manner.

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