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Sensitivity Enhancement System for Pulse Compression Weather Radar

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  • 1 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

The use of low-power solid-state transmitters in weather radar to keep costs down requires a pulse compression technique that maintains an adequate minimum detectable signal. However, wideband pulse compression filters will partly reduce the system’s sensitivity performance. In this paper, a sensitivity enhancement system (SES) for pulse compression weather radar is developed to mitigate this issue. SES uses a dual-waveform transmission scheme and an adaptive pulse compression filter. The waveforms’ diversity can be done in the frequency domain or the time domain. The adaptive filter is designed based on the self-consistency between signal returns from the two waveforms. Analysis based on radar-simulated data and observations from NASA’s dual-frequency dual-polarized Doppler radar (D3R) shows that by using SES, the system sensitivity can be improved by 7–10 dB when compared to that of the conventional matched filter.

Corresponding author address: Cuong M. Nguyen, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, 1373 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1373. E-mail: cmnguyen@engr.colostate.edu

Publisher’s Note: This article was revised on 30 December 2014 to include a final sentence in the Acknowledgments section that was left out when originally published.

Abstract

The use of low-power solid-state transmitters in weather radar to keep costs down requires a pulse compression technique that maintains an adequate minimum detectable signal. However, wideband pulse compression filters will partly reduce the system’s sensitivity performance. In this paper, a sensitivity enhancement system (SES) for pulse compression weather radar is developed to mitigate this issue. SES uses a dual-waveform transmission scheme and an adaptive pulse compression filter. The waveforms’ diversity can be done in the frequency domain or the time domain. The adaptive filter is designed based on the self-consistency between signal returns from the two waveforms. Analysis based on radar-simulated data and observations from NASA’s dual-frequency dual-polarized Doppler radar (D3R) shows that by using SES, the system sensitivity can be improved by 7–10 dB when compared to that of the conventional matched filter.

Corresponding author address: Cuong M. Nguyen, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, 1373 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1373. E-mail: cmnguyen@engr.colostate.edu

Publisher’s Note: This article was revised on 30 December 2014 to include a final sentence in the Acknowledgments section that was left out when originally published.

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