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.


Spring 2014


  • 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

Spring 2013

  • 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

Fall 2012

Spring 2012

Fall 2011

  • 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

Spring 2011

Fall 2010

Spring 2010

  • 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

Fall 2009

Spring 2009

Fall 2008

  • 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

Spring 2008

  • Range unfolding using batch-PRT waveforms
  • Matched filtering
  • Data quality control using the signal-to-noise ratio


Back to PAR Software Upgrades

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