Four radars at NSSL garage ready for assembly

Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA).

Engineers from UMass traveled to the University of Oklahoma to begin the assembly and installation of CASA's first end-to-end systems test bed. Pictured here are the four radars at NOAA's National Severe Storms Lab garage ready for assembly. See the IP1A (Oklahoma Test Bed) blog for the latest.

CASA's new system is called DCAS for Distributed Collaborative Adaptive Sensing networks. Distributed refers to the use of large numbers of small radars, appropriately spaced to overcome the Earth-curvature blockage that limits current approaches. The radars operate collaboratively within a dynamic information technology infrastructure, adapting to changing atmospheric conditions in a manner that meets competing end user needs.

If only they could have used larger antennas to decrease the beamwidth... I think the radars are designed to have a 3 degree beamwidth, which isn't particularly useful when looking for small-scale circulations such as tornadoes. The close proximity of the radars will help compensate for this issue (as it will help with the lower transmit power as well), but it sure would be nice to have a lower-beamwidth system and associated higher resolution in the low-levels...
Wonder if they could hang an 8m diameter dish from those cell towers. That oughta do the trick.. :lol: Despite the beamwidth, it will still be interesting to see how the program evolves. Don't see it being finanically feasible to do a full scale implimentation but perhaps this could provide better near ground level data that just simply not possible with the current 88D setup.