FIRST RF and Raytheon have partnered with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to create an X-Band phased array radar for use in weather measurements. This radar has been deployed to Australia and has been used for weather and bushfire studies since January 2013. Additional units are being used at the University of Massachusetts for weather research. This weather radar provides a low cost tool for demonstrating the use of X-Band frequencies in studying weather phenomena and to explore the operational and maintenance implications of small form-factor phased array technology for weather surveillance.
The prime purpose of this radar is to investigate the feasibility of a low infrastructure, low maintenance, and low cost technology for a variety of weather applications including: airport weather surveillance, hazard detection and monitoring, future operational radar in regions such as mountainous terrain or in the Arctic, and process and precipitation studies. This product represents an early commercial offering of the LPAWR series and is considered an experimental system that includes the following components:
- Up-down converter, antenna controller and radar backend assembly (including DREX)
- Integrated weather-resistant phasedarray antenna assemblyHost PC, display, software, power supply and cables
The FRF-166 low power X-Band phased array weather radar antenna is designed as a low cost, low power solution that supports high beam update rate in the azimuth plane, where the weather community needs performance, and saves cost and complexity by offering an optional mechanical tilt capability in the elevation plane. It is a solution for many weather applications including: wind shear monitoring at airports, wind turbine mitigation, gap-fill and other high-resolution weather sensing needs.
FIRST RF Corp.,