En route weather data extraction from ATC radar systems
March 11, 1982
This report describes the results of phase I of the En Route Radar Weather Program. The objective of this effort was to develop techniques for generating accurate en route weather reflectivity estimates in the presence of ground clutter. A candidate weather data extraction processor is proposed for use with either the ASR-MTD or ARSR-MTD radar systems. Principal features of the candidate processor include: (1) an antenna port (to permit use of an appropriate polarization), front end (with R^-2 STC) and quadrature video sampling subsystem which are separate from that used for aircraft surveillance. (2) use of a ground clutter map to select the form of clutter rejection to be used in each individual range-azimuth cell to estimate various weather reflectivity levels, and (3) spatial /temporal smoothing of the cell reflectivity estimates. The key elements of the suggested signal processing techniques were evaluated using data from MTD tests in Bedford, VA, Burlington, VT, and Atlantic City, NJ; however, the full system has not as yet received design validation/refinement and operational evaluation by ATC controllers. In particular, methods for identifying second trip weather echos should be addressed in the full system validation program.