Evaluation of the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Planning Process

Committee on the Evaluation of the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Planning Process

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Evaluation of the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Planning Process Committee on the Evaluation of the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Planning Process Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Division on Earth and Life Studies THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the Department of Commerce/CMRC under contract number DG133007SE5171. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Commerce/CMRC or any of its sub agencies. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12432-4 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12432-8 Copies of this report are available from the program office: Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3512 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON THE EVALUATION OF THE MULTIFUNCTION PHASED ARRAY RADAR PLANNING PROCESS PAUL L. SMITH (Chair), South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota JAMES FROST DAVIS, The Aerospace Corporation, Chantilly, Virginia EASTWOOD IM, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California JEFFREY K. LAZO, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado DAVID MCLAUGHLIN, University of Massachusetts, Amherst ROBERT PALMER, University of Oklahoma, Norman STEVEN A. RUTLEDGE, Colorado State University, Fort Collins SCOTT SANDGATHE, University of Washington, Seattle ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado MARILYN M. WOLFSON, Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Massachusetts NRC Staff CURTIS MARSHALL, Study Director KATHERINE WELLER, Senior Program Assistant v

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BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE F. SHERWOOD ROWLAND (Chair), University of California, Irvine ROSINA M. BIERBAUM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor RICHARD E. (RIT) CARBONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado WALTER F. DABBERDT, Vaisala Inc., Boulder, Colorado KIRSTEN DOW, University of South Carolina, Columbia GREGORY S. FORBES, The Weather Channel, Atlanta, Georgia ISAAC HELD, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey ARTHUR LEE, Chevron Corporation, San Francisco, California KIRK R. SMITH, University of California, Berkeley JOHN T. SNOW, University of Oklahoma, Norman THOMAS H. VONDER HAAR, Colorado State University/CIRA, Fort Collins XUBIN XENG, University of Arizona, Tucson Ex Officio Members ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR., University of Maryland, College Park NRC Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Director LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer IAN KRAUCUNAS, Program Officer CURTIS H. MARSHALL, Program Officer RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator ROB GREENWAY, Senior Program Assistant KATHERINE WELLER, Senior Program Assistant SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate vi

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Preface In June 2006, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM) issued a report titled Federal Research and Development Needs and Priorities for Phased Array Radar, prepared by the Joint Action Group for Phased Array Radar Project (JAG/PARP). Recommendation 3 in the report called for the establishment of an interagency MPAR (multifunction phased array radar) Working Group and the identification of “opportunities for review of program plans and progress by appropriate boards or study committees of the National Academies’ National Research Council.” In the intervening two years, the Working Group has, among other activities, pursued investigations at the National Weather Radar Testbed in Norman, Oklahoma and conducted an MPAR Symposium in Norman in September 2007. Other planning activities have proceeded, and a pair of articles outlining the MPAR concept was published in the November 2007 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. In mid-2007 the OFCM, pursuant to the part of Recommendation 3 quoted above, tasked the NRC to carry out an evaluation of the MPAR planning process. The Committee on Evaluation of the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Planning Process was formed to carry out this task. The committee held three meetings in January-April 2008 to gather updated information about the MPAR planning and prepare this report. At the first meeting at the National Academies’ Keck Center in Washington, DC, the committee received overview briefings on the MPAR program and the JAG/PARP report. The committee also heard technical briefings on the potential benefits and challenges of a national MPAR system from federal and industrial scientists and engineers. At the second meeting at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) David Skaggs Center in Boulder, Colorado the committee heard additional briefings from prospective agency users of an MPAR system and technical briefings on some of the key hardware issues; they also began intensive work on this report. The third meeting, at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma was devoted entirely to work on the report. The committee considered all of the input received at these meetings, as well as a variety of supplementary information about phased array radars and the MPAR program. The committee’s review highlighted significant technical and cost issues that need to be resolved to establish the viability of a national MPAR system that can satisfy requirements for aircraft and weather surveillance (and possibly other requirements not yet clearly defined). Prominent among the technical issues is whether phased array radar can provide the quantitative weather measurements (especially of polarimetric variables) needed to support current meteorological applications. Prominent among the cost issues is whether the cost of individual transmit-receive elements can be reduced enough to make array antennas involving many thousands of such elements affordable. vii

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viii EVALUATION OF THE MPAR PLANNING PROCESS I express the thanks of the entire committee to the people who provided the briefings and who responded to our requests for additional information. The committee especially appreciates the briefings from developers of Radio Frequency technology, who helped to show us (especially the chairman, who hails from Missouri) that an affordable MPAR may be achievable. I hope that, in the short time available to carry out this evaluation, the committee has correctly understood the current status and plans for future activities and attained a reasonable perspective on what may become possible in the next few years. I thank the members of the committee who contributed generously of their time and effort to carry out this evaluation of the broad MPAR program in a very short time period. Thanks also to our NRC support staff: Curtis Marshall, Study Director, and Katie Weller, Senior Program Assistant, who also worked long and hard on the committee’s activities. I look forward to the evolution of the MPAR concept and hope some day to see the end result of the program in service to the nation. Paul L. Smith, Chair Committee on the Evaluation of the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Planning Process

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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Dr. David Atlas, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland LT Richard Davidson, US Navy, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi Dr. Elbert W. Friday, Jr., National Weather Service (retired), Norman, Oklahoma Dr. R. Jeffrey Keeler, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Dr. John McCarthy, Aviation Weather Associates, Palm Desert, California Dr. Richard Passarelli, Vaisala/Sigmet Corporation, Westford, Massachusetts Dr. Matthias Steiner, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Although the reviewers listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Kuo-Nan Liou, University of California, Los Angeles. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution. ix

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Contents SUMMARY.............................................................................................................1 Principal Findings ....................................................................................................1 Committee Recommendations .................................................................................4 1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................7 2 OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT NATIONAL RADAR SYSTEM ....................9 Weather Radar Networks.........................................................................................9 Aircraft Surveillance Radar Networks...................................................................11 Siting, Maintenance and Lifecycle Issues..............................................................11 Weather Radar Coverage .......................................................................................12 3 NEEDS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION SYSTEM..........................................13 Multi-Agency Mission: Owners, Users, and Beneficiaries ...................................13 Limitations of the Current Radar Network ............................................................16 Needs Versus Research..........................................................................................18 4 CAPABILITIES OF PHASED ARRAY RADAR ................................................19 Capability for Rapid Update (Beam Multiplexing) ...............................................20 Adaptive Clutter Suppression ................................................................................22 Crossbeam Wind Estimation..................................................................................23 Elimination of Beam Smearing..............................................................................23 Adaptive Sensing ...................................................................................................23 Other Capabilities ..................................................................................................24 Graceful Degradation.............................................................................................24 5 THE MPAR CONCEPT ........................................................................................26 Technical Challenges .............................................................................................28 Cost Issues .............................................................................................................29 Capital Asset Planning...........................................................................................32 Acquisition Planning and Contracting ...................................................................32 Comparison of Alternatives ...................................................................................33 6 THE MPAR PLANNING PROCESS....................................................................34 The JAG/PARP Report ..........................................................................................34 MPAR Symposium ................................................................................................36 Developments to Date: Activities in NWRT .........................................................38 Developments to Date: 2007 Annual MPAR Statement and 2008 Plans ..............39 7 EVALUATION OF THE PLANNING PROCESS ...............................................41 Introduction ...........................................................................................................41 Purpose of the MPAR Planning Process................................................................41 The MPAR Stakeholders .......................................................................................42 xi

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xii EVALUATION OF THE MPAR PLANNING PROCESS External Pressures on Existing and Emerging MPAR Stakeholders .....................42 Need for Quantitative Requirements and Specifications for MPAR .....................43 Evaluation of the MPAR R&D Planning Process..................................................46 Technical Issues .....................................................................................................46 Cost Issues .............................................................................................................50 Need for Complete Inclusion of all Associated System Costs ..............................53 Cost-Benefit Analysis ............................................................................................53 8 FAMILY OF SYSTEMS .......................................................................................59 9 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS...............................................................................63 Principal Findings ..................................................................................................63 Overarching Recommendation ..............................................................................64 REFERENCES ......................................................................................................65 APPENDIXES .......................................................................................................71 A Statement of Task..............................................................................................72 B Acronym List.....................................................................................................73 C Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff ................................75