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Radar Operations Center

NPN

Wind Profiler Support


NOAA Profiler Network (NPN)

The Radar Operations Center (ROC) primarily supports the WSR-88D, but the National Weather Service (NWS) also recognizes the great benefits of Wind Profiler radar technology. As a result, a proof of concept wind profiler system was developed and deployed in the 1990’s. That equipment provided the basis of NWS specifications for acquisition of a new NOAA wind profiler capability.

Wind Profiler Products
Wind Profiler Products

The NWS purchased four new 449 MHz Profilers in 2011. Designed to operate autonomously and continuously, these vertically looking phased array radars provide upper air wind data for use in a variety of analyses and forecasting tasks. When deployed by the ROC, the three systems in Alaska will support meteorology and aviation safety, especially an enhanced capability to forecast the path of volcanic ash. The locations for the wind profiler sites are Talkeetna, Homer, and Anchorage, Alaska. The testbed system is installed at the ROC campus in Norman, Oklahoma.

The wind profiler unit uses preprogrammed operational modes to determine the speed and direction of the wind at different heights directly above the unmanned radar site. Since the wind profilers are at remote sites, the new equipment is designed to operate in a degraded mode in the event of most types of equipment failures. Control software detects and reports problems to NWS maintenance per-sonnel for future correction during site visits. If necessary, the ROC can as-sist maintenance personnel with NPN problem solving, repair and/or resto-ration activities, making on-site service and maintenance

ROC personnel ensure NPN testbed system is operational
NPN Testbed
a cooperative effort among local NWS Weather Forecast Offices, NWS Alaska Region Headquarters and the ROC personnel.

Major ROC responsibilities for NPN include:

  • Provide life cycle support for hardware and software.
  • Provide routine operations and maintenance support.
  • Support configuration and change management.
  • Support for maintenance manuals and depot repair.
  • Support procurement and expansion of NPN, as required