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Center Independent Research & Development: JPL IRAD

Next Generation Active/Passive Sensors for Observing Storm-scale Processes from Space

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The overall objective is to develop the key technologies needed for next generation active/passive microwave instruments for observing storm-scale processes.

The main objective is to develop a highly integrated active/passive microwave system. A combined receiver presents a number of challenges that need to be addressed through a hardware prototype. This activity is developing a prototype combined Ka-band radar/radiometer receiver using existing commercially available components to address some of the fundamental compatibility and calibration issues. An overall system challenge is achieving sufficient receiver protection from the radar transmit power since existing transmit/receive switches that have sufficient bandwidth needed by the radiometer don't have sufficient power handling capability and isolation over the C- to G-band frequency range. There are several approaches to address this problem that will be considered including separation of the transmit/receive chains and advanced pulse compression techniques, such as those employed by RainCube, that lower the overall required transmit power. In addition to these, a parallel effort will focus on developing switch technology that can tolerate higher power, but meet all other requirements for bandwidth, isolation and switching speed.

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