AMS Short Course: Phased Array Antennas for Weather Radar Applications

Agenda

Date: 27 August 2017

Location: Swissôtel, 323 E Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601, USA

Description: Phased array antennas (PAAs) are becoming increasingly prevalent for weather radar applications. PAAs offer significant advantages over traditional antenna approaches, but come with higher complexity. Numerous inter-related design variables are typically optimized to achieve the requisite performance at minimum cost. This course will address the key design considerations for phased array hardware so that weather experts have a greater understanding of their capabilities and tradeoffs. The goal is to be in a better position to make recommendations and assessments in the future regarding their usage and requirements.

This four module course is focused on providing a technical background on phased array antennas for weather radar for the non-antenna expert. The first module will review the fundamental background and mathematics for phased array antenna and radar operation. The second module will discuss key requirements for phased array antennas, and how the requirements impact the hardware design and cost. This will include an overview of advanced architectures such as multi-beam, digital, and dual-polarized antennas that are planned for future weather radar systems. The third module will provide details of phased array capabilities and tasking for weather observation, and will include a survey of recent systems emerging from academia and industry. Finally, the last module will be an interactive exercise where the attendees will be provided with a PC and will work in groups to perform the initial trade studies for a phased array antenna design, including: operating frequency selection, antenna size, power, and physical architecture for a phased array to meet a weather radar sensing mission at the lowest cost.

The course format is a half-day (4 hours) consisting of lectures and a design exercise at the end. The instructors for the course are:


Dr. Mark Leifer

Dr. Leifer is a Staff Consultant at Ball Aerospace where he works on radar, communications and EW systems. He received his B.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University. He designed high-field Magnetic Resonance Imagers, and adaptive beamforming (“Smart Antenna”) systems for cell phone base-stations, before joining Ball Aerospace ten years ago. He resides in the Phased Array and RF Technology group where his work has included phased array trade and design studies for weather and aviation applications.

Matt Little

Mr. Little is an Advanced Systems Manager with over 15 years of experience in advanced technology development for phased array antennas, radar, and communication systems. He is currently supporting a number of customer and internal research and development programs on phased array technology and applications. He joined Ball in 2015 from Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). While at Raytheon, he was an Engineering Fellow on the staff of the Antenna & Microwave department.

Dr. V. Chandrasakar

Dr. Chandrasakar (Chandra) is a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University (CSU), where he works on weather radar science and technologies, space borne radar, and remote sensing systems. He received a B.Tech. in Electronics and Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Meteorological Radar Systems from CSU. He participated in developing dual-polarization weather radar techniques that are widely used today.  More recently, he was research director of the CASA program that developed the concept of dense network of small radars for urban applications. He has taught numerous short courses and is the co-author of two textbooks and five general readership books relating to weather radar.

 

Please contact Mark Leifer, mleifer@ball.com or Matt Little, mlittle@ball.com for more information.