NOAA to Host National Symposium on Latest Developments in Multifunction Phased Array Radar

October 9, 2007

Multifunction phased array radar, a promising technology that has the potential to scan the atmosphere more than five times faster and with higher spatial resolution than present systems, will be the focus of a symposium Oct. 10-12 at the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla.

”Phased array radar has the potential to be the next and most significant technological advancement to improve our nation’s essential weather, aviation, defense, and homeland security services,” said Mary Glackin, deputy under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.

A prototype of this radar, also known as MPAR, is part of the National Weather Radar Testbed operated by NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory. Researchers are currently testing the technology and preliminary results indicate the radar’s rapid scanning capability will greatly improve decision support tools in a variety of hazardous weather situations.

“The symposium aims to advance the state of MPAR research and development and to further document the needs of the radar user community,” said Samuel P. Williamson, federal coordinator for meteorology.

Hosted by the National Severe Storms Laboratory, the symposium is sponsored by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction, and the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology.

With a theme of “Leveraging Technology for a Next-Generation National Radar System,” the agenda includes formal presentations, senior-level panel discussions and exhibits of the latest phased array radar technology. The symposium will also highlight the social and economic benefits from MPAR risk reduction research. Invited speakers will represent government, academia, and commercial sectors.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.