Wind-shear detection performance study for multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) risk reduction
June 12, 2013
Multifunction phased array radars (MPARs) of the future that may replace the current terminal wind-shear detection systems will need to meet the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) detection requirements. Detection performance issues related to on-airport siting of MPAR, its broader antenna beamwidth relative to the TDWR, and the change in operational frequency from C band to S band are analyzed. Results from the 2012 MPAR Wind-Shear Experiment (WSE) are presented, with microburst and gust-front detection statistics for the Oklahoma City TDWR and the National Weather Radar Testbed (NWRT) phased array radar, which are located 6 km apart. The NWRT has sensitivity and beamwidth similar to a conceptual terminal MPAR (TMPAR), which is a scaled-down version of a full-size MPAR. The microburst results show both the TDWR probability of detection (POD) and the estimated NWRT POD exceeding the 90% requirement. For gust fronts, however, the overall estimated NWRT POD was more than 10% lower than the TDWR POD. NWRT data is also used to demonstrate that rapid-scan phased array radar has the potential to enhance microburst prediction capability.