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Computer Processing of Digital Radar Data Gathered during HIPLEX

Melvin J. SchroederDepartment of Aviation, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks 58201

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Gerard E. KlazuraDivision of Atmospheric Water Resources Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colo. 80225

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Abstract

Digital radar data are being collected as part of the Bureau of Reclamation's High Plains Cooperative Program (HIPLEX). The radars used in this study are sensitive, narrow-beam, 5 cm wavelength systems which record echo data on computer compatible magnetic tape. The antenna scans continuously in a volume mode of 360° in azimuth and 12° in elevation. The time interval for a complete volume scan is approximately 5 min. An overview of the HIPLEX radar operational program and data flow from collection to analysis products is presented.

Computer programs to edit, correct, compress, process and archive the data have been developed and tested. Examples and descriptions of printed, microfiche and magnetic tape output are described. These include composite maximum reflectivity and echo top displays, an equivalent reflectivity file, and a case study summary file which contains location, area, volume, rain and motion information for cells that were identified and tracked. It is shown that the flow of digital radar data has a sufficient amount of human intervention to maintain quality control in an evolving computer environment.

Abstract

Digital radar data are being collected as part of the Bureau of Reclamation's High Plains Cooperative Program (HIPLEX). The radars used in this study are sensitive, narrow-beam, 5 cm wavelength systems which record echo data on computer compatible magnetic tape. The antenna scans continuously in a volume mode of 360° in azimuth and 12° in elevation. The time interval for a complete volume scan is approximately 5 min. An overview of the HIPLEX radar operational program and data flow from collection to analysis products is presented.

Computer programs to edit, correct, compress, process and archive the data have been developed and tested. Examples and descriptions of printed, microfiche and magnetic tape output are described. These include composite maximum reflectivity and echo top displays, an equivalent reflectivity file, and a case study summary file which contains location, area, volume, rain and motion information for cells that were identified and tracked. It is shown that the flow of digital radar data has a sufficient amount of human intervention to maintain quality control in an evolving computer environment.

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