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Monetized weather radar network benefits for tornado cost reduction

Author:
Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report NOAA-35

Summary

A monetized tornado benefit model is developed for arbitrary weather radar network configurations. Geospatial regression analyses indicate that improvement in two key radar coverage parameters--fraction of vertical space observed and cross-range horizontal resolution--lead to better tornado warning performance as characterized by tornado detection probability and false alarm ratio. Previous experimental results showing faster volume scan rates yielding greater warning performance, including increased lead times, are also incorporated into the model. Enhanced tornado warning performance, in turn, reduces casualty rates. In combination, then, it is clearly established that better and faster radar observations reduce tornado casualty rates. Furthermore, lower false alarm ratios save costs by cutting down on people's time lost when taking shelter.
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Summary

A monetized tornado benefit model is developed for arbitrary weather radar network configurations. Geospatial regression analyses indicate that improvement in two key radar coverage parameters--fraction of vertical space observed and cross-range horizontal resolution--lead to better tornado warning performance as characterized by tornado detection probability and false alarm ratio. Previous experimental...

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Weather radar network benefit model for tornadoes

Author:
Published in:
J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 22 April 2019, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0205.1.

Summary

A monetized tornado benefit model is developed for arbitrary weather radar network configurations. Geospatial regression analyses indicate that improvement of two key radar parameters--fraction of vertical space observed and cross-range horizontal resolution--lead to better tornado warning performance as characterized by tornado detection probability and false alarm ratio. Previous experimental results showing faster volume scan rates yielding greater warning performance are also incorporated into the model. Enhanced tornado warning performance, in turn, reduces casualty rates. In addition, lower false alarm ratios save cost by cutting down on work and personal time lost while taking shelter. The model is run on the existing contiguous United States weather radar network as well as hypothetical future configurations. Results show that the current radars provide a tornado-based benefit of ~$490M per year. The remaining benefit pool is about $260M per year that is roughly split evenly between coverage- and rapid-scanning-related gaps.
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Summary

A monetized tornado benefit model is developed for arbitrary weather radar network configurations. Geospatial regression analyses indicate that improvement of two key radar parameters--fraction of vertical space observed and cross-range horizontal resolution--lead to better tornado warning performance as characterized by tornado detection probability and false alarm ratio. Previous experimental results...

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Quantification of radar QPE performance based on SENSR network design possibilities

Published in:
2018 IEEE Radar Conf., RadarConf, 23-27 April 2018.

Summary

In 2016, the FAA, NOAA, DoD, and DHS initiated a feasibility study for a Spectrum Efficient National Surveillance Radar (SENSR). The goal is to assess approaches for vacating the 1.3- to 1.35-GHz radio frequency band currently allocated to FAA/DoD long-range radars so that this band can be auctioned for commercial use. As part of this goal, the participating agencies have developed preliminary performance requirements that not only assume minimum capabilities based on legacy radars, but also recognize the need for enhancements in future radar networks. The relatively low density of the legacy radar networks, especially the WSR-88D network, had led to the goal of enhancing low-altitude weather coverage. With multiple design metrics and network possibilities still available to the SENSR agencies, the benefits of low-altitude coverage must be assessed quantitatively. This study lays the groundwork for estimating Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) differences based on network density, array size, and polarimetric bias. These factors create a pareto front of cost-benefit for QPE in a new radar network, and these results will eventually be used to determine appropriate tradeoffs for SENSR requirements. Results of this study are presented in the form of two case examples that quantify errors based on polarimetric bias and elevation, along with a description of eventual application to a national network in upcoming expansion of the work.
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Summary

In 2016, the FAA, NOAA, DoD, and DHS initiated a feasibility study for a Spectrum Efficient National Surveillance Radar (SENSR). The goal is to assess approaches for vacating the 1.3- to 1.35-GHz radio frequency band currently allocated to FAA/DoD long-range radars so that this band can be auctioned for commercial...

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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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A new radio frequency interference filter for weather radars

Author:
Published in:
J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., Vol. 34, No. 7, 1 July 2017, pp. 1393-1406.

Summary

A new radio frequency interference (RFI) filter algorithm for weather radars is proposed in the two-dimensional (2D) range-time/sample-time domain. Its operation in 2D space allows RFI detection at lower interference-to-noise or interference-to-signal ratios compared to filters working only in the sample-time domain while maintaining very low false alarm rates. Simulations and real weather radar data with RFI are used to perform algorithm comparisons. Results are consistent with theoretical considerations and show the 2D RFI filter to be a promising addition to the signal processing arsenal against interference with weather radars. Increased computational burden is the only drawback relative to filters currently used by operational systems.
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Summary

A new radio frequency interference (RFI) filter algorithm for weather radars is proposed in the two-dimensional (2D) range-time/sample-time domain. Its operation in 2D space allows RFI detection at lower interference-to-noise or interference-to-signal ratios compared to filters working only in the sample-time domain while maintaining very low false alarm rates. Simulations...

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The threat to weather radars by wireless technology

Published in:
Amer. Meteor. Soc., Vol. 97, No. 7, 1 July 2016, pp. 1159-67, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00048.1.

Summary

Wireless technology, such as local area telecommunication networks and surveillance cameras, causes severe interference for weather radars, because they use the same operational radio frequencies. One or two disturbances can be removed from the radar image, but the number and power of the interfering wireless devices are growing all over the world, threatening that one day the radars could not be used at all. Some agencies have already changed or are considering changing frequency bands, but now even other bands are under threat. Use of equipment at radio frequencies is regulated by laws and international agreements. Technologies have been developed for peaceful co-existence. If wireless devices use these technologies to protect weather radars, their data transmission capabilities become limited, so it is tempting to violate the regulations. Hence, it is an important task for the worldwide weather community to involve themselves in the radio-frequency management process and work in close contact with their National Radio Authorities to ensure that meteorological interests be duly taken into account in any decision making process toward the future usage of wireless devices.
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Summary

Wireless technology, such as local area telecommunication networks and surveillance cameras, causes severe interference for weather radars, because they use the same operational radio frequencies. One or two disturbances can be removed from the radar image, but the number and power of the interfering wireless devices are growing all over...

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Enhanced signal processing algorithms for the ASR-9 Weather Systems Processor

Author:
Published in:
J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., Vol. 32, No. 10, October 2015, pp. 1847-59.

Summary

New signal processing algorithms for the Airport Surveillance Radar-9 (ASR-9) Weather Systems Processor (WSP) are introduced. The Moving Clutter Spectral Processing for Uneven-Sampled Data with Dealiasing (MCSPUDD) algorithm suite removes isolated moving clutter targets and corrects aliased velocity values on a per-range-gate basis. The spectral differencing technique is applied to the low- and high-beam data to produce a dual-beam velocity estimate that is more accurate than the current autocorrelation-lag-1-based approach. Comparisons with Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) data show that estimate errors are reduced by 8%, 15%, and 15% for the low-, high-, and dual-beam velocities, respectively.
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Summary

New signal processing algorithms for the Airport Surveillance Radar-9 (ASR-9) Weather Systems Processor (WSP) are introduced. The Moving Clutter Spectral Processing for Uneven-Sampled Data with Dealiasing (MCSPUDD) algorithm suite removes isolated moving clutter targets and corrects aliased velocity values on a per-range-gate basis. The spectral differencing technique is applied to...

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ASR-9 Weather Systems Processor technology refresh and upgrade

Summary

The Weather Systems Processor (WSP) is an add-on system to the Airport Surveillance Radar-9 (ASR-9) that generates wind shear detection and storm tracking products for the terminal airspace. As the original system ages and pre-purchased replacement parts in the depot are used up, it becomes increasingly problematic to procure hardware components for repairs. Thus, a technical refresh is needed to sustain WSP operations into the future. This phase of the project targets the intermediate frequency digital receiver, the radar interface module, and the digital signal processor for replacement by updated hardware platforms. At the same time, the increase in computational capability allows for an upgrade in the signal processing algorithm, which will lead to data quality improvements.
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Summary

The Weather Systems Processor (WSP) is an add-on system to the Airport Surveillance Radar-9 (ASR-9) that generates wind shear detection and storm tracking products for the terminal airspace. As the original system ages and pre-purchased replacement parts in the depot are used up, it becomes increasingly problematic to procure hardware...

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Secondary Surveillance Phased Array Radar (SSPAR): Initial Feasibilty Study(6 MB)

Published in:
Project Report ATC-416, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Summary

A Secondary Surveillance Phased Array Radar (SSPAR) supporting terminal operations is described. Interrogation and receive techniques, antenna array configuration, signal processing, and preliminary performance are presented. SSPAR’s impact on spectrum congestion in the beacon radar band is analyzed, as are concepts for integrating SSPAR and next-generation primary radars to improve the efficiency and accuracy of aircraft and weather surveillance.
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Summary

A Secondary Surveillance Phased Array Radar (SSPAR) supporting terminal operations is described. Interrogation and receive techniques, antenna array configuration, signal processing, and preliminary performance are presented. SSPAR’s impact on spectrum congestion in the beacon radar band is analyzed, as are concepts for integrating SSPAR and next-generation primary radars to improve...

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Velocity estimation improvements for the ASR-9 Weather Systems Processor

Published in:
American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, 2-6 February 2014.

Summary

The Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) is a rapid-scanning terminal aircraft detection system deployed at airports around the United States. To provide cost-effective wind shear detection capability at medium-density airports, the Weather Systems Processor (WSP) was developed and added on to the ASR-9 at 35 sites. The WSP on the ASR-9 is capable of utilizing dual fan-beam estimates of reflectivity and velocity in order to detect low-level features such as gust fronts, wind shear, and microbursts, which would normally be best detectable by a low-scanning pencil beam radar. An upgrade to the ASR-9 WSP, which is currently ongoing, allows for additional computational complexity in the front-end digital signal processing algorithms compared to previous iterations of the system. This paper will explore ideas for improving velocity estimates, including low-level dual beam weight estimation, de-aliasing, and noise reduction. A discussion of the unique challenges afforded by the ASR-9's block-stagger pulse repetition time is presented, along with thoughts on how to overcome limitations which arise from rapid-scanning and the inherent lack of pulses available for coherent averaging.
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Summary

The Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) is a rapid-scanning terminal aircraft detection system deployed at airports around the United States. To provide cost-effective wind shear detection capability at medium-density airports, the Weather Systems Processor (WSP) was developed and added on to the ASR-9 at 35 sites. The WSP on the ASR-9...

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