Radar technology has become extremely important in today’s world.
Radar helps guide the freighters which ship the electronics, clothing, and countless other products we use every day to our shores.
Radar is essential in commercial aviation. The primary radar typically consists of a large rotating parabolic antenna dish that sweeps a vertical fan-shaped beam of microwaves around the airspace surrounding the airport. It detects the position and range of aircraft by microwaves reflected back to the antenna from the aircraft’s surface.
Radar is an especially important tool for the U.S. Department of Defense as it is used to detect aircrafts, vehicles and missiles. Sonar is a very common technique used in submarines and other underwater vessels. It uses sound propagation to detect objects in the water. This is done by emitting sound pulses and listening for echoes.
With climate change issues, weather radar has also emerged as a critical technology. Weather radar is a vital instrument for observing the atmosphere to help provide weather forecasts and issue weather warnings to the public.
The current Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) system provides Doppler radar coverage to most regions of the United States. This network was designed in the mid-1980s and deployed in the 1990s as part of the National Weather Service (NWS) modernization (NRC, 1999).
Since the initial design phase of the NEXRAD program, considerable advances have been made in radar technologies and in the use of weather radar for monitoring and prediction. The development of new technologies provides the motivation for appraising the status of the current weather radar system and identifying the most promising approaches for the development of its eventual replacement.
An upgrade to dual polarization products in all National Weather Service radars in 2012-2015 allows forecasters to better determine atmospheric target type, size and diversity.
These new dual polarization capabilities allow forecasters to better identify precipitation type, which ultimately helps with winter weather forecasting and hail detection, improves precipitation estimation, filters out non-meteoritical targets so forecasters can only focus on meteorological phenomena, and identifies airborne debris which can assist in locating tornadoes.
Recent development in radar technology includes use of additional datasets such as lightning and satellite cloud top temperature to determine the trend of storm strength.
Want to know more? Tonex offers Advanced Radar Course, a 3-day program that covers advanced concepts behind modern radar systems including radar design, advanced functions, phased array radar system design, pulse doppler radar system design and implementation, search and track functions, target detection, signal processing, architecture, critical components, electronic attack and protection, transmitter/receiver, and antenna.
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