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NOAA Releases software upgrade to experimental weather radar in time for storm season

As severe weather approaches central Oklahoma this spring, NSSL/Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies researchers will be using a new version of the operational software that runs on the National Weather Radar Testbed Phased Array Radar (NWRT PAR) to study fast-changing storms. The MPARSUP (MPAR Software Upgrades Project) team has released Spring 2014 upgrade that enables multifunction capabilities, and adds new signal processing and adaptive scanning functionalities.

Highlights for the spring 2014 release include:
- 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 vertical sampling of storms based on how far they are from the radar
- Radial-by-radial pulse-repetition-time adjustment based on how far storms are from the radar
- Adaptive definition of focused weather scans based on how far storms are from the radar
- Improved performance of range oversampling techniques that lead to radar update time reductions of 50% while maintaining the precision of the data
- Development of Staggered Pulse Repetition Time (SPRT) processing mode to improve wind velocity measurements (non-operational)
- Significant improvements to the radar user interface
- Radar-data-distribution infrastructure to process returns from weather and aviation scans in real-time

These software upgrades will continue to improve the capabilities of the NWRT and demonstrate the benefits of PAR technology for improved weather observations in a multifunction environment.