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Frequency diversity wideband digital receiver and signal processor for solid-state dual-polarimetric weather radars




Mishra, Kumar Vijay, author
Chandra, Chandrasekar V., advisor
Jayasumana, Anura P., committee member
Mielke, Paul W., committee member

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The recent spate in the use of solid-state transmitters for weather radar systems has unexceptionably revolutionized the research in meteorology. The solid-state transmitters allow transmission of low peak powers without losing the radar range resolution by allowing the use of pulse compression waveforms. In this research, a novel frequency-diversity wideband waveform is proposed and realized to extenuate the low sensitivity of solid-state radars and mitigate the blind range problem tied with the longer pulse compression waveforms. The latest developments in the computing landscape have permitted the design of wideband digital receivers which can process this novel waveform on Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chips. In terms of signal processing, wideband systems are generally characterized by the fact that the bandwidth of the signal of interest is comparable to the sampled bandwidth; that is, a band of frequencies must be selected and filtered out from a comparable spectral window in which the signal might occur. The development of such a wideband digital receiver opens a window for exciting research opportunities for improved estimation of precipitation measurements for higher frequency systems such as X, Ku and Ka bands, satellite-borne radars and other solid-state ground-based radars. This research describes various unique challenges associated with the design of a multi-channel wideband receiver. The receiver consists of twelve channels which simultaneously downconvert and filter the digitized intermediate-frequency (IF) signal for radar data processing. The product processing for the multi-channel digital receiver mandates a software and network architecture which provides for generating and archiving a single meteorological product profile culled from multi-pulse profiles at an increased data date. The multi-channel digital receiver also continuously samples the transmit pulse for calibration of radar receiver gain and transmit power. The multi-channel digital receiver has been successfully deployed as a key component in the recently developed National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Dual-Frequency Dual-Polarization Doppler Radar (D3R). The D3R is the principal ground validation instrument for the precipitation measurements of the Dual Precipitation Radar (DPR) onboard the GPM Core Observatory satellite scheduled for launch in 2014. The D3R system employs two broadly separated frequencies at Ku- and Ka-bands that together make measurements for precipitation types which need higher sensitivity such as light rain, drizzle and snow. This research describes unique design space to configure the digital receiver for D3R at several processing levels. At length, this research presents analysis and results obtained by employing the multi-carrier waveforms for D3R during the 2012 GPM Cold-Season Precipitation Experiment (GCPEx) campaign in Canada.


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frequency diversity digital receiver
pulse compression
weather radar signal processing


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