Software Upgrades for the NWRT Phased-Array Radar
A timeline of improvements
NWRT PAR block diagram.
The deployment of the new signal processing hardware in 2007 marked the beginning of a series of software and signal processing upgrades on the NWRT PAR. Using a path of continuous upgrades with an average of two software releases every year (Spring and Fall), we have been gradually incorporating new and improved functionality to the NWRT PAR.
The following is a timeline of the upgrades, where only the highlights for each release are listed. Despite its critical nature, much of the infrastrucutre work is not listed here because it is usually transparent to operators and/or consumers of NWRT PAR data.
- Aircraft detection and tracking algorithms that are robust in the presence of weather and ground clutter
- Adaptive scheduling of weather and aviation functions using interlaced scans
- Integrated radar data displays that show both aircraft and weather information
Adaptive weather scanning
- Adaptive vertical sampling of storms based on their range
- Radial-by-radial pulse-repetition-time adjustment based on range of storms
- Adaptive definition of focused weather scans (ADAPTS) based on range of storms
Signal processing and software infrastructure
- On-line measurement of the range correlation to improve performance of range oversampling techniques
- Development of Staggered Pulse Repetition Time processing mode (non-operational)
- Significant improvements to the radar user interface to control and monitor the performance of new and existing algorithms
- Low-latency time-series data-distribution infrastructure to accommodate weather and aviation function processing
- A new storm-region (cluster) identification algorithm
- Automatic time-based scheduling of storm regions
- ADAPTS III: scheduling and processing of a detection scan for faster updates with timely detection of newly formed storms
- RTC improvements to reduce initial range of collection and to allow frequent PRT switching
- RCI client improvements to control and monitor system and algorithms
- DSP improvements for ground-clutter and range-and-velocity ambiguity mitigation
- Software infrastructure improvements to prevent data drops
- Adaptive pedestal control algorithm
- Reflectivity display through the user interface
- Surveillance function for ADAPTS and surveillance processing mode
- Improved noise-power calibration
- Level-I data recording using HDF-5 format
- Additional metadata on archived level-I data, which will facility playback of archived data with original processing settings
- Adaptive scanning using ADAPTS II (removes scanning strategy limitations of first implementation)
- Range oversampling with adaptive pseudowhitening (resulted in scanning strategies with 50% update times) [journal paper]
- Manual real-time scan control through the user interface
- Manual scheduling of scanning strategies through the user interface
- Ground clutter filtering using the CLEAN-AP filter
- Staggered PRT processing (not operational due to PRT-switching limitations)
- Interference suppression
- Noise-power calibration
- DC-bias calibration
- Range unfolding using batch-PRT waveforms
- Matched filtering
- Data quality control using the signal-to-noise ratio
Back to PAR Software Upgrades
ART visits the UK Met Office
In the context of collaboration between NSSL and the UK Met Office, I spent one week in Exeter working with UK Met Office scientists and engineers on their operational implementation of the CLEAN-AP filter.
My profile on the CIMMS page
I had the honor of presenting at the first NSSL 'Gab at the Lab'. In addition to improving the understanding of activities ongoing at NSSL and restoring/enhancing a sense of community, ’Gab at the Lab’ meetings provide opportunities to develop public-speaking skills and to practice explaining one’s work at a layperson’s level.
New software release on the NWRT PAR demonstrates multifunction capabilities
The Spring 2014 software release on the NWRT PAR is now operational. This new release enables multifunction capabilities and adds new signal processing and adaptive scanning functionalities.