Machine intelligent approach to automated gust front detection for Doppler weather radars
April 4, 1994
Automated gust front detection is an important component of the Airport Surveillance Radar with Wind Shear Processor (ASR-9 WSP) and Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) systems being developed for airport terminal areas. Gust fronts produce signatures in Doppler radar imagery which are often weak, ambiguous, or conditional, making detection and continuous tracking of gust fronts challenging. Previous algorithms designed for these systems have provided only modest performance when compared against human observations. A Machine Intelligent Gust Front Algorithm (MIGFA) has been developed that makes use of two new techniques of knowledge-based signal processing originally developed in the context of automatic target recognition. The first of these, functional template correlation (FTC), is a generalized matched filter incorporating aspects of fuzzy set theory. The second technique is the use of "interest" as a medium for pixel-level data fusion. MIGFA was first developed for the ASR-9 WSP system. Its design and performance have been documented in a number of earlier reports. This paper focuses on the more recently developed TDWR MIGFA, describing the signal-processing techniques used and general algorithm design. A quantitative performance analysis using data collected during recent real-time testing of the TDWR MIGFA in Orlando, Florida is also presented. Results show that MIGFA substantially outperforms the gust front detection algorithm used in current TDWR systems.