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Command and control for multifunction phased array radar

Published in:
IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., Vol. 55, No. 10, October 2017, pp. 5899-5912.

Summary

We discuss the challenge of managing the Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) timeline to satisfy the requirements of its multiple missions, with a particular focus on weather surveillance. This command and control (C2) function partitions the available scan time among these missions, exploits opportunities to service multiple missions simultaneously, and utilizes techniques for increasing scan rate where feasible. After reviewing the candidate MPAR architectures and relevant previous research, we describe a specific C2 framework that is consistent with a demonstrated active array architecture using overlapped subarrays to realize multiple, concurrent receive beams. Analysis of recently articulated requirements for near-airport and national-scale aircraft surveillance indicates that with this architecture, 40–60% of the MPAR scan timeline would be available for the high-fidelity weather observations currently provided by the Weather Service Radar (WSR-88D) network. We show that an appropriate use of subarray generated concurrent receive beams, in concert with previously documented, complementary techniques to increase the weather scan rate, could enable MPAR to perform full weather volume scans at a rate of 1 per minute. Published observing system simulation experiments, human-in-the-loop studies and radar-data assimilation experiments indicate that high-quality weather radar observations at this rate may significantly improve the lead time and reliability of severe weather warnings relative to current observation capabilities.
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Summary

We discuss the challenge of managing the Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) timeline to satisfy the requirements of its multiple missions, with a particular focus on weather surveillance. This command and control (C2) function partitions the available scan time among these missions, exploits opportunities to service multiple missions simultaneously, and...

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Secondary Surveillance Phased Array Radar (SSPAR): initial feasibility study

Summary

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is deploying Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to provide next-generation surveillance derived through down- and cross-link of global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation data. While ADS-B will be the primary future surveillance system, FAA recognizes that backup surveillance capabilities must be provided to assure that air traffic control (ATC) services can continue to be provided when individual aircraft transponders fail and during localized, short-duration GPS outages. This report describes a potential ADS-B backup capability, Secondary Surveillance Phased Array Radar or SSPAR. SSPAR will interrogate aircraft transponders and receive replies using a sparse, non-rotating array of approximately 17 omnidirectional (in azimuth) antennae. Each array element will transmit and receive independently so as to form directional transmit beams for transponder interrogation, and support high-resolution direction finding for received signals. Because each SSPAR element is independently digitized, transponder returns from all azimuths can be equipped with Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and ADS-B avionics to reduce spectrum usage and maintain the high surveillance update rate (~1 per second) achieved by ADS-B. Recurring costs for SSPAR will be low since it involves no moving parts and the number of array channels is small. This report describes an SSPAR configuration supporting terminal operations. We consider interrogation and receive approaches, antenna array configuration, signal processing and preliminary performance analysis. An analysis of SSPAR's impact on spectrum congestion in the beacon radar band is presented, as are concepts for integrating SSPAR and next generation primary radar to improve the efficiency and accuracy of aircraft and weather surveillance.
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Summary

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is deploying Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to provide next-generation surveillance derived through down- and cross-link of global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation data. While ADS-B will be the primary future surveillance system, FAA recognizes that backup surveillance capabilities must be provided to assure that air traffic...

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Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR): achieving Next Generation Surveillance and Weather Radar Capability

Published in:
J. Air Traffic Control, Vol. 55, No. 3, Fall 2013, pp. 40-7.

Summary

Within DOT, the FAA has initiated an effort known as the NextGen Surveillance and Weather Radar Capability (NSWRC) to analyze the need for the next generation radar replacement and assess viable implementation alternatives. One concept under analysis is multifunction radar using phased-array technology -- Multifunction Phased Array Radar or MPAR.
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Summary

Within DOT, the FAA has initiated an effort known as the NextGen Surveillance and Weather Radar Capability (NSWRC) to analyze the need for the next generation radar replacement and assess viable implementation alternatives. One concept under analysis is multifunction radar using phased-array technology -- Multifunction Phased Array Radar or MPAR.

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An assessment of the operational utility of a GOES lightning mapping sensor

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report NOAA-18A

Summary

This report evaluates the incremental operational benefits of a proposed Lightning Mapping Sensor (LMS) for NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). If deployed, LMS would provide continuous, real-time surveillance of total lightning activity over large portions of the North and South American continents and surrounding oceans. In contrast to the current National Lightning Detection Network, LMS would monitor total lightning activity, including the dominant intracloud component which is estimated to occur with order of magnitude greater frequency than cloud-to-ground lightning and may occur ten minutes or more in advance of a storm's first ground flash.
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Summary

This report evaluates the incremental operational benefits of a proposed Lightning Mapping Sensor (LMS) for NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). If deployed, LMS would provide continuous, real-time surveillance of total lightning activity over large portions of the North and South American continents and surrounding oceans. In contrast to the...

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Low cost multifunction phased array radar concept

Published in:
2010 IEEE Int. Symp. on Phased Array Systems, 12 October 2010.

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and M/A-COM are jointly conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit and Receive Integrated Circuits and a panel-based Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) will be presented. A program plan for risk reduction and system demonstration will be outlined.
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Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and M/A-COM are jointly conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit...

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Multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) for aircraft and weather surveillance

Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and M/A-COM are jointly conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit and Receive Integrated Circuits and a panel-based Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) will be presented. A program plan for risk reduction and system demonstration will be outlined.
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Summary

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and M/A-COM are jointly conducting a technology demonstration of affordable Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR) technology for Next Generation air traffic control and national weather surveillance services. Aggressive cost and performance goals have been established for the system. The array architecture and its realization using custom Transmit...

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Terminal Doppler Weather Radar enhancements

Author:
Published in:
IEEE Radar Conf., 10 May 2010, pp. 1245-1249.

Summary

The design of an open radar data acquisition system for the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar is presented. Adaptive signal transmission and processing techniques that take advantage of the enhanced capabilities of this new system are also discussed. Results displaying data quality improvements with respect to problems such as range-velocity ambiguity and moving clutter are shown.
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Summary

The design of an open radar data acquisition system for the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar is presented. Adaptive signal transmission and processing techniques that take advantage of the enhanced capabilities of this new system are also discussed. Results displaying data quality improvements with respect to problems such as range-velocity ambiguity...

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Redeployment of the New York TDWR - technical analysis of candidate sites and alternative wind shear sensors

Summary

The John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are protected from wind shear exposure by the New York Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), which is currently located at Floyd Bennet Field, New York. Because of a September 1999 agreement between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Transportation, this location is required to be vacated no later than January 2023. Therefore, a study based on model simulations of wind shear detection probability was conducted to support future siting selection and alternative technologies. A total of 18 candidate sites were selected for analysis, including leaving the radar where it is. (The FAA will explore the feasibility of the latter alternative; it is included in this study only for technical analysis.) The 18 sites are: Six candidate sites that were identified in the initial New York TDWR site-survey studies in the 1990s (one of which is the current TDWR site), a site on Staten Island, two Manhattan skyscrapers, the current location of the WCBS Doppler weather radar in Twombly Landing, New Jersey, and eight local airports including JFK and LGA themselves. Results clearly show that for a single TDWR system, all six previously surveyed sites are suitable for future housing of the TDWR. Unfortunately, land acquisition of these sites will be at least as challenging as it was in the 1990s due to further urban development and likely negative reaction from neighboring residents. Evaluation results of the on-airport siting of the TDWR (either at JFK or at LGA) indicate that this option is feasible if data from the Newark TDWR are simultaneously used. This on-airport option would require software modification such as integration of data from the two radar systems an dimplementation of "overhead" feature detection. The radars on the Manhattan skyscrapers are not an acceptable alternative due to severe ground clutter. The Staten Island site and most other candidate airports are also not acceptable due to distance and/or beam blockage. The existing Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) Weather Systems Processor (WSP) at JFK and the Bookhaven (OKX) Weather Surveillance Radar 1988-Doppler (WSR-88D, commonly known as NEXRAD) on Long Island cannot provide sufficient wind shear protection mainly due to limited wind shear detection capability and/or distance.
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Summary

The John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are protected from wind shear exposure by the New York Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), which is currently located at Floyd Bennet Field, New York. Because of a September 1999 agreement between the Department of the Interior and the...

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Roadmap for weather integration into Traffic Flow Management Modernization (TFM-M)

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-347

Summary

This report provides recommendations for aligning new Collaborative Air Traffic Management Technologies (CATM-T) with evolving aviation weather products to improve NAS efficiency during adverse (especially severe) weather conditions. Key gaps identified include 1. Improving or developing pilot convective storm avoidance models as well as models for route blockage and capacity in severe weather is necessary for automated congestion prediction and resolution. 2. Forecasts need to characterize uncertainty that can be used by CATM tools and, explicitly forecast key parameters needed for translation of weather products to capacity impacts. 3. Time based flow management will require substantial progress in both the translation modeling and in predicting appropriate storm avoidance trajectories. Near term efforts should focus on integration of the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) with contemporary severe weather products such as the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS). 4. Human factors studies on product design to improve individual decision making, improved collaborative decision making in "difficult" situations, and the use of probabilistic products are also essential. 5. Studies need to be carried out to determine how well en route and terminal capacity currently is being utilized during adverse weather events so as to identify the highest priority areas for integrated weather-CATM system development.
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Summary

This report provides recommendations for aligning new Collaborative Air Traffic Management Technologies (CATM-T) with evolving aviation weather products to improve NAS efficiency during adverse (especially severe) weather conditions. Key gaps identified include 1. Improving or developing pilot convective storm avoidance models as well as models for route blockage and capacity...

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Wind-shear system cost benefit analysis update

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-341

Summary

A series of fatal commercial aviation accidents in the 1970s led to the development of systems and strategies to protect against wind shear. The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS), Weather Systems Processor (WSP) for Airport Surveillance Radars (ASR-9), pilot training and on-board wind shear detection equipment are all key protection components. While these systems have been highly effective, there are substantial costs associated with maintaining and operating ground-based systems. In addition, while over 85% of all major air carrier operations occur at airports protected by one of these ground-based wind-shear systems, the vast majority of smaller operations remain largely unprotected. This report assesses the technical and operational benefits of current and potential alternative ground-based systems as mitigations for the low-altitude wind-shear hazard. System performance and benefits for all of the current TDWR (46), ASR-9 WSP (35), and LLWAS (40) protected airports are examined, along with 40 currently unprotected airports. We considered in detail several alternatives and/or combinations for existing ground-based systems. These included the option to use data from current WSR-88D (or NEXRAD) and two potential future sensor deployments: (1) a commercially built pulsed-Doppler Lidar and (2) an X-band commercial Doppler weather radar. Wind-shear exposure estimates and simulation models for each wind shear protection component were developed for each site in order to accurately comare all alternatives. For the period 2010-2032, the current combination of wind-shear protection systems reduces teh $3.0 billion unprotected NAS overall wind-shear safety exposure to just $160 million over the entire study period. Overall, tehre were few alternatives that resulted in higher benefits than the TDWR, TDWR-LLWAS, and WSP configurations that currently exist at 81 airports. However, the cheaper operating costs of NEXRAD make it a potential alternative especially at LLWAS and non-wind-shear protected sites.
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Summary

A series of fatal commercial aviation accidents in the 1970s led to the development of systems and strategies to protect against wind shear. The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS), Weather Systems Processor (WSP) for Airport Surveillance Radars (ASR-9), pilot training and on-board wind...

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