Comparative analysis of ground-based wind shear detection radars
May 8, 1995
The UNISYS Corporation has developed a microburst prediction radar (MBPR) to provide detection and short-term predictions of the most hazardous form of low altitude wind shear in the vicinity of an airport. The MBPR is intended for deployment on- or near-airport so as to minimize range coverage (and associated radar power-aperture) requirements. Like the airport surveillance radar wind shear processor (ASR-WSP), the cost of the MBPR is significantly less than that of the terminal Doppler weather radar (TDWR) so that its deployment at smaller airports might be economically justified if the performance is operationally acceptable. Field tests of engineering prototypes of the MBPR have been conducted in conjunction with FAA-sponsored TDWR and WSP demonstration programs. We assess the capabilities and limitations of each of these systems using a consistent methodology that emphasizes the comparative analysis of the significant parameters of each radar in relation to wind shear phenomenology. An extensive database on wind shear event radar cross section, spatial structure and intensity distribution-derived through our FAA-sponsored testing of TDWR and ASR-WSP prototypes is an important asset in developing this comparison.