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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Dual –frequency Cloud Radar (DCR) System for EV-3 Missions and Beyond

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This work will develop a Global Hawk installation plan for a dual frequency (W- and Ka-band) radar that combines two existing Goddard radars, Cloud Radar System (CRS) and High Altitude Wind and Precipitation Imaging Radar (HIWRAP).  The main part of the effort will focus on an implementation plan to reduce costs and risks for upcoming opportunities such as NASA Earth Venture (EV-3) and Aerosol Chemsitry Ecosystem (ACE) algorithm development activity.

The effort will involve a mechanical and thermal study for installation of CRS into the Global Hawk, RF design for integrating the HIWRAP Ka-band transceiver with CRS and a new subscale prototype antenna for ACE, and specification and testing of a Ka-/W-band radome necessary in front of the antenna. The proposed work will be a solid design concept for a dual-frequency CRS that can be readily implemented on the Global Hawk. Since CRS is currently single frequency (W-band) and the NGES antenna is dual-frequency (Ka- and W-band), this effort investigates what is necessary to use the HIWRAP Ka-band transceiver with CRS timing and other interfaces. Finally, the Global Hawk installation will require a dual-frequency radome and part of this effort will investigate suitable radome materials that is transparent at at both operating frequencies.

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