Development of radar products that will utilize future capabilities
Radar is the primary instrument for remote sensing of the atmosphere for aviation needs. The FAA utilizes three primary radar networks for such purposes: TDWR, WSR–88D (NEXRAD), and ASR–9 WSP. Radar has traditionally been used to estimate precipitation location and intensity. Within the past 20 years, weather radar technology has advanced and Doppler radar is now the current standard radar configuration. Doppler radar data affords the additional capability to estimate motion associated with the detected scatterers. Within the next year, the WSR 88D radar network polarimetric capability upgrade will be completed by the National Weather Service. This will allow for the enhanced discrimination of, for example, bugs, birds, hale, rain, snow and in-flight icing hazards.
RAL is working under the sponsorship of the FAA's Aviation Weather Research Program to develop technologies that utilize weather radar data to support the detection and prediction of aviation hazards such as turbulence and icing conditions. Current efforts are focused on two tasks: implementing and supporting operational deployment of new radar algorithms, and conducting research and development of radar products that will utilize future capabilities, i.e. dual–polarimetric, of weather radars.
Radar Algorithm Development