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Department of Atmospheric Science

Fri., Mar. 24, 10:00 am, EN6085

Introduction of Radar Research and Education at University of Oklahoma and the Airborne Radar Team

Dr. Yan (Rockee) Zhang

University of Oklahoma


Radar is an important sensor for weather observations. Oklahoma has been the birthplace of multiple generations of NEXRAD/WSR-88D radars. Since 2003, the weather radar initiative and the defense radar initiative have brought “end-to-end” capabilities to the radar system development. The talk will cover two main areas: ground-based radar systems and airborne radar developments. In fact, there are deep connections between the two types of radars and they will be discussed. Our key challenge for ground radar has been implementing and calibration dual-polarized array radars. During the years, we have designed and built multiple testbed systems and collect polarimetric weather signatures from them. There are many factors affecting the engineering solutions and performance, such as array pattern calibration, beam synthesizing, and beam matching performance. The key challenge for airborne radar development at OU is the limitation of spatial resolutions and tradeoff with space, weight and power (SWaP) with aircraft constraints. 
We’ll focus on several aspects of the RADADOX (Polarimetric Airborne Radar Operating at X-band) and MARBLE (Millimeter Wave Radar for Learning and Education) radar concepts. First, the scientific missions these radars are designed for, with focus on the microphysics and dynamics studies of clouds and convective weather. Second, the system architectures and descriptions, including the hardware designs and laboratory measurement to support airborne dual-polarization capability developments. Third, the transceiver optimization and super-resolution, such as “single-pulse Doppler” and removing impacts of sidelobes from both antenna pattern and pulse compression waveforms. Lastly, the deployment plans of these radars on different aircraft platforms, including unmanned aircrafts. In addition, considering the potential application of aviation and military, the technology solutions to achieve multi-mission capabilities by using low-cost, general processor units are also introduced.

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