Public Release: 

OU developing advanced radar for rapid updates and improved severe weather warnings

University of Oklahoma

A team of engineers and meteorologists from the Advanced Radar Research Center located in the Radar Innovations Laboratory on the University of Oklahoma Research Campus will develop faster, more advanced imaging radar with a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The C-band, mobile, polarimetric, imaging radar will provide simultaneous snapshots of a storm with unprecedented resolution and flexibility. The faster, more advanced imaging radar will lead to a better understanding of storms and provide improved severe weather warnings.

The Advanced Radar Research Center team, led by Tian-You Yu, includes Jorge L. Salazar and Caleb Fulton, professors in the Gallogly College of Engineering at OU, and Robert D. Palmer and Howard Bluestein, professors in the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, will collaborate on the new imaging radar. The team will build on lessons learned from the current Atmospheric Imaging Radar by adding polarimetric capabilities, real-time beamforming, electronic sensing, digital control and real-time displays. The new mobile radar will provide updates of polarimetric measurements every few seconds on tornadoes, lightning and hurricanes, leading to new understanding of these phenomena on incredible time and spatial scales.

The system represents the most advanced form of polarimetric phased array radar, which has yet to be applied to the field of radar meteorology. With the unique capabilities of this radar, the Polarimetric Advanced Imaging Radar will be a unique platform for enabling new research in rapidly evolving weather phenomena, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, radar aeroecology, and for advancing new engineering technologies in polarimetric phased array waveform design and beamforming algorithms. The radar will provide an opportunity for scientists to push current limitations in numerical weather prediction and data assimilation.

OU has developed an interdisciplinary educational program in weather radar, which brings together engineering and meteorology students to learn the important aspects of weather radar, from fundamental theory to advanced applications. More information about the Advanced Radar Research Center is available at http://arrc.ou.edu.

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