Analysis of performance characteristics of the Naval Postgraduate School MWR-05XP Mobile Weather Radar
Knorr, Jeffrey B.
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In 1998, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) and the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE Dept.) collaborated on the acquisition of a mobile radar, the AN/MPQ-64 (Sentinel). This is a modern X-band, pulse Doppler radar used by the Army for forward area air defense. An SBIR project funded by the Office of Naval Research resulted in a contract to ProSensing, Inc., Amherst, MA to retrofit this radar with a weather processor. The intent is to provide a military capability to assess battlespace weather in real time. This capability will be developed using the NPS radar as a testbed. When the weather capability has been fully implemented on the NPS radar, it will also have application as a scientific instrument for severe storm research because of its mobility and cutting-edge capabilities. The modified radar has been designated the MWR-05XP (Mobile Weather Radar, 2005, X-band, Phased Array). This report presents the results of an analysis of numerous aspects of the radar's performance as a weather sensor. The ability of the MWR-05XP radar to detect rain with different levels of reflectivity, the ability of the radar to detect clear air turbulence with different structure parameters and echoes from birds and insects has been examined. Curves are provided to determine correlation and decorrelation times for weather signals with varying rms velocity spread. MWR-05XP post detection integration improvement has been computed for a Rayleigh weather target with varying pulse-to-pulse correlation and curves are provided to determine the improvement in terms of the number of pulses integrated. Lastly, scan strategy is discussed with emphasis on obtaining weather signal parameter estimates with small variance while at the same time achieving a rapid volumetric update rate. Electronic scan is the feature that enables the radar to achieve a rapid volumetric update rate. Data quality control is also discussed.
NPS Report NumberNPS-EC-05-005
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