] Radar research at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory has taken another step forward. The Advanced Technology Demonstrator is installed at the National Weather Radar Testbed facility and will become fully operational in 2019.
The Advanced Technology Demonstrator, or ATD, is the first full-scale, S-band, dual-polarization phased array radar built from the ground up and designed specifically for use as a weather radar.
A phased array radar
is able to steer the radar beam electronically left-to-right and up-and-down while the antenna remains stationary. The ATD has a flat, or planar, antenna comprised of 76 panels with 4,864 radiating elements.
[Phased Array radar has a unique antenna that collects the same information as a conventional radar in about one-sixth the time. Users can direct radar beams to scan different targets as needed. Researchers believe phased array could extend warning lead times from 10 minutes to 18-22 minutes.
In addition, the ATD features dual polarization technology
developed at NSSL and recently added to WSR-88D radars, also known as NEXRAD, throughout the country. The ATD is adding dual polarization technology to phased array technology, combining the benefits of both. The new radar will feature dual-polarization’s ability to show the size and shape of precipitation, and the phased array’s faster updates.
[Difference between conventional and polarmetric radar
The radar will be used for meteorological studies and to help researchers evaluate polarimetric performance of a planar phased array radar.
Edited for WeatherNation
by Meteorologist Mace Michaels