DOW Rapid-Scan

Center for Severe Weather Research

The Center For Severe Weather Research (CSWR), a non-profit research organization located in Boulder, Colorado, funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF), with close collaborations with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Pennsylvania State University. CSWR's scope includes The Doppler On Wheels (DOW), Bistatic Network, and Rapid-Scan programs, and related tornado, hurricane, and convective initiation studies, and educational efforts. Several CSWR facilities are now available through the NSF Deployment Pool.

Doppler On Wheels :: Rapid-Scan

The CSWR Rapid-Scan Doppler On Wheels (DOW) is a truck-borne passive phased-array (slotted waveguide) rapid-scanning Doppler radar. It can be deployed independently to obtain extremely fine-temporal-scale / fine-spatial-scale observations or as part of the DOW multiple-Doppler network. The rapidly adaptable/targetable DOW network is able to deploy close to, or inside, phenomena such as tornadoes, hurricanes, microbursts, snow bands, and other quickly evolving and/or hazardous weather in order to obtain fine-scale (spatial and temporal) and near-ground observations.

CSWR’s rapid-Scan radar employs a 40 kW TWT transmitter for moderate sensitivity to clear air returns.  X-band, 3-cm, 9 GHz transmissions are moderately able to penetrate through intense precipitation.  Six frequencies are focused through a frequency-steered slotted waveguide array (2.5 m resulting in 0.8 – 0.9 degree beam width) resulting in six quasi-simultaneous elevation angles. Using mechanical scanning in azimuth at 50 degrees/second, 3D volumetric data can be collected every 7 seconds (6 elevations) to 14 seconds (12 elevations)

The Rapid-Scan DOW can remain nearly indefinitely on station, even in severe conditions such as those in hurricanes, blizzards, supercells, mesoscale convective systems, etc. to obtain uninterrupted data during prolonged events. The Rapid-Scan DOW can be configured with satellite, cellular or VHF data uplinks. Real-time radar data can be uploaded to the internet.  It can host crews of 4 scientists, and serve as field coordination and radar coordination hubs.

An alternate configuration for this DOW employs a 250 kW magnetron transmitter and a parabolic antenna, resulting in a quick-scanning single-beam, single-polarization Doppler radar when the highest sensitivity is a higher priority than rapid volumetric updates.

>> Visit the CSWR website