Understanding Weather Radar Functional Requirements: The Foundations of Effective Radar Systems

This in-person short course will teach participants how to determine what functions a weather radar should perform, how well it should perform those functions, and how to evaluate the quality of the performance. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022 (8:00 AM -3:45 PM)

This short course has been CANCELED due to lower than expected registration. All attendees will receive a full refund.

Duration: Full Day
Participant Cap: Not Announced

Course Description:

This course introduces the fundamentals of developing operational and functional requirements for modern Polarimetric Doppler Meteorological Radars. Participants will learn how to determine what functions a weather radar should perform, how well it should perform those functions, and how to evaluate the quality of the performance. The course will explore the most important functional characteristics of a Polarimetric Pulse Doppler weather radar and how the key parameters and data quality metrics support forecasting, warning, and climate science needs. Participants will learn about aspects of practical implementation of the requirements, including verification methods. The course includes notes on the historical development of the key requirements associated with the US NEXRAD program.

Topics include how the selection of resolution volume, and number of samples from the volume, determine functionality and quality. The participants will learn about the importance of wavelength selection, waveform design, sample rates, detection, system dynamic range, and coherency as well as numerous other parameters that should be considered in requirements development. Selection of base data elements will be included as well as discussions on volume scan strategy development. The course will emphasize how functional and quality requirements support operations and research.

Participants will learn about the effects of bias and variance on the utility of radar base data moments and polarimetric variables and how the related requirements are determined. Methods for analyzing and verifying quality parameters will be included. Participants will review the importance of calibration requirements and will study methods for verifying calibration accuracy.

The question of migrating requirements from traditional fixed antennas to modern phased array systems will be explored extensively. The course will provide participants an opportunity to engage in discussions of future radar systems and how emerging technology potentially drives development of new requirements. An extensive bibliography will be included with the course notes.

View Preliminary Agenda

Participant requirements not announced.


headshot of Richard Ice
Richard L. Ice

U.S. Air Force (retired)

headshot of David Warde
David A. Warde

Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, National Severe Storms Laboratory

For more information, please contact Richard L. Ice at richice@mac.com.