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New Radar Technologies

This page presents information on some of the new and exciting changes being developed or recently implemented in the WSR-88D

VCP 215
(Click image for larger version)
(Click Here for more Information)

Level II Data – The following Level II data files are provided to exercise VCP 35 and VCP 215.

VCP 35
GZIP files from NCEI Raw RPG files
ROP420150930_080157_V06.gz ROP420150930080157V06.raw
ROP420150930_080908_V06.gz ROP420150930080908V06.raw
ROP420150930_081620_V06.gz ROP420150930081620V06.raw
ROP420150930_082332_V06.gz ROP420150930082332V06.raw
ROP420150930_083044_V06.gz ROP420150930083044V06.raw
ROP420150930_083756_V06.gz ROP420150930080157V06.raw
ROP420150930_084507_V06.gz ROP420150930084507V06.raw
ROP420150930_085219_V06.gz ROP420150930085219V06.raw
ROP420150930_085931_V06.gz ROP420150930085931V06.raw
ROP420150930_090644_V06.gz ROP420150930090644V06.raw

VCP 215
GZip files from NCEI Raw RPG files
ROP420150930_050546_V06.gz ROP420150930050546V06.raw
ROP420150930_051203_V06.gz ROP420150930051203V06.raw
ROP420150930_051821_V06.gz ROP420150930051821V06.raw
ROP420150930_052438_V06.gz ROP420150930052438V06.raw
ROP420150930_053055_V06.gz ROP420150930053055V06.raw
ROP420150930_053712_V06.gz ROP420150930053712V06.raw
ROP420150930_054328_V06.gz ROP420150930054328V06.raw
ROP420150930_054946_V06.gz ROP420150930054946V06.raw
ROP420150930_055603_V06.gz ROP420150930055603V06.raw
ROP420150930_060220_V06.gz ROP420150930060220V06.raw
ROP420150930_060837_V06.gz ROP420150930060837V06.raw

Additional data may be requested from NCEI (formerly NCDC) for ROP4 for 09/29/15 1908UTC through 09/30/15 1258UTC. VCP 35 and VCP 215 were executed during the following time periods.

VCP 35 09/29/15 1908 -1951
VCP 215 09/29/15 1958 -2300
VCP 35 09/29/15 2306 - 09/30/15 0040
VCP 215 09/30/15 0047 - 0748
VCP 35 09/30/15 0801 - 0928
VCP 215 09/30/15 0935 - 1258

Multiple Elevation Scan Option for SAILS
The Next Step in the Continuing Evolution of Dynamic Scanning

Building on concept of SAILS, the Multiple Elevation Scan Option for SAILS allows the operator to select either one, two or three supplemental low-level elevation scans (verses only one supplemental scan allowed in the initial SAILS implementation) per VCP (ONLY available with VCP 12 and VCP 212).


Level II Data – The following Level II data files are provided to exercise systems with all three SAILS options.

File Name SAILS State Number of SAILS Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_28_55.bz2 SAILS OFF 0 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_32_02.bz2 SAILSx1 1 Supplemental Scan
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_35_41.bz2 SAILSx1 1 Supplemental Scan
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_39_19.bz2 SAILSx2 2 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_43_31.bz2 SAILSx2 2 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_47_41.bz2 SAILSx2 2 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_51_53.bz2 SAILSx3 3 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_18_56_36.bz2 SAILSx3 3 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_19_01_21.bz2 SAILSx2 2 Supplemental Scans
KOUN_2014_02_04_19_05_34.bz2 SAILSx3 3 Supplemental Scans

Draft Build 17 ICDs

RDA to RPG ICD (pdf)
Archive II/User ICD (pdf)

Dynamic Scanning

Dynamic Scanning - VCP duration and product availablilty comparisons underscore the advantages of using AVSET and SAILS during severe weather events.

Severe Weather VCP Duration: This table lists the average VCP duration based on AVSET termination angle (VCP 12 and 212 include SAILS).

Product Availability Comparison: This table compares the number of products available per hour with and without AVSET and SAILS executing.

Benefits of Dynamic Scanning (PDF)

Operational Improvements to the AUTO PRF Function

Storm-Based AUTO PRF


The Auto PRF algorithm has been in the WSR-88D since the beginning. This algorithm works well but it simply selects the Doppler PRF that results in the least amount of range folded (purple) data for the entire area within a 230 km radius of the radar without consideration for the importance of any individual storm. To address this limitation, the ROC is working on a Storm-Based AUTO PRF function to augment the legacy AUTO PRF algorithm.

Storm_Based_Auto_PRF_ Investigation_Report.pdf


To accommodate the requirement for SZ-2 to have 64 pulses per radial, the PRFs for all SZ-2 VCPs are hard coded. The hard coded PRFs result in the second trip clutter induced range folding bins to always be at a constant range for each VCP. While in most circumstances this is a manageable issue, under some conditions the inability to change the location of the second trip clutter induced range folded data can have a detrimental impact on the forecast and warning process. To address this deficiency, the ROC is implementing an automated PRF selection capability for the three SZ-2 VCPs (VCP 212, VCP 211 and VCP 221). This new SZ-2 Auto PRF Function determines the optimum PRF (Storm-Based or Legacy, as selected by the operator) and modifies the antenna rotation rate to maintain the 64 pulses per radial requirement.

We are encouraged by early testing of testing the SZ-2 Auto PRF function. Please check back later for more detailed information.

Supplemental Adaptive Intra-Volume Low-Level Scan (SAILS)

A scanning method to reduce the elapsed time between 0.5° elevation scans.

Level II Data
(Click image for larger version)

SAILS may not be recommended for every radar due to existing bandwidth limitations.

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Enhanced Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile (EVWP)

The Enhanced Velocity Azimuth Display Wind Profile (EVWP) function is designed to improve the availability and accuracy of VWP wind estimates.

  Original (left), Enhanced VWP (right)

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Automated Volume Scan Evaluation and Termination (AVSET)

Two-Dimensional Velocity Dealiasing Improvement Algorithm