Manufacturing and Engineering Science StartUp

FURUNO Launches World’s Smallest and Lightest Weather Radar System for Meteorological Monitoring and Analysis

NISHINOMIYA, Japan, August 28, 2013FURUNO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. is pleased to announce that the development process of FURUNO X-band Doppler Weather Radar (Note 1) has been completed. Subsequently, FURUNO is looking to deliver a solution for meteorological analysis that would greatly contribute to better safety in society where the impact arising from meteorological disasters can be diminished.

(Note 1) Doppler Weather Radar measures not only the location and intensity of precipitation but also the wind speed and direction around radar sensors by analyzing the Doppler shift of radio waves returned from precipitation particles in the wind.

FURUNO‘s new Weather Radar system consists of the Dual Polarimetric X-band Doppler Weather Radar (Note 2) WR-2100 and the X-band Doppler Weather Radar (Note 3) WR-50 that can be classified as one of the world’s smallest and lightest systems available in the market. It is best suited for local weather monitoring and forecasting, facilitating high-precision real-time 3D monitoring of meteorological phenomena.

(Note 2) Dual Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar simultaneously transmits horizontally and vertically polarized radio waves, and analyzes the difference in received signal returns and their phase difference to compute quantitatively analyzed precipitation.
(Note 3) Doppler Weather Radar, in general, transmits horizontally polarized radio waves and calculates precipitation intensity from signal returns.

The WR-2100 has ultra high-definition spatiotemporal resolution capability (Note 4), capable of grasping omni-directional precipitation intensity in a 50-meter mesh at 6-second intervals. Also, the WR-2100 is capable of conducting a high-precision scan to obtain the vertical structure of a cumulonimbus, which causes precipitation, as well as monitoring the movement of the nimbus and the formulation of raindrops.

(Note 4) Ultra high-definition spatiotemporal resolution capability is the ability to monitor and analyze localized phenomena minutely within the short duration of time.

Conventional weather radar, which is generally enormous and deployed at the top of mountains, is not suited for locating nimbus emerged at an altitude from 500 to 2,000 m. It is such nimbus that the FURUNO Weather Radar system is intended for locating. Its radar antennas are designed to be deployed at the rooftop deck of buildings in urban areas in mesh configuration with a distance of 30 km between each antenna. As a result, the radar system can detect nimbus in the distance, even though it may be blocked by other nimbus at a closer range. At the moment, FURUNO is looking to utilize this new radar technology to enhance the precision level of rainfall prediction and to detect the development of short localized rainstorms, which are hard to predict.

A “multi radar system” is constructed by networking more than three WR-2100s. Alternatively, the system can also be constructed by networking one WR-2100 together with two WR-50s, the latter of which conducts real-time monitoring of the horizontal movement of nimbus. It is capable of detecting short localized rainstorms, which have often occurred recently in urban areas in Japan, and conducting 3D-monitoring of rainstorms in real time. Also, joint efforts between industry and academia (Note 5) are being made to realize practical application of localized weather forecasting systems.

(Note 5) FURUNO conducts research and development for technology to facilitate real-time rainfall prediction by means of ultra high-definition spatiotemporal resolution analysis, in close collaboration with Kobe University, Kyoto University and Japan Science and Technology Agency as part of the “Adaptive and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-driven R&D” of Japan‘s Science and Technology Agency.

The new weather radar’s radome diameters are greatly downsized (to 108 cm for WR-2100 and 60 cm for WR-50) compared with the conventional X-band weather radar whose radome diameter is approximately 3.5 m. Needless to say, it is drastic downsizing from the conventional C-band and S-band weather radar whose radome diameters are 7.0 m and 12.0 m, respectively.

The antenna unit of the WR-2100 or the WR-50 can be tucked in a minivan to be carried to a monitoring location. Also, it can be carried through an elevator to bring them up onto a monitoring site and installed by human labor without using heavy machinery such as cranes. What is more, the use of commercial electricity for its operation widens the scope of potential clients, who have hitherto shied away from employing the conventional weather radar system because of its limitations on available installation sites as well as operational costs. Such clients include weather service providers, local governments and research institutes as well as other business organizations that provide information and conduct operation management for facilities of public transportation, sewage works, river authorities, civil engineering, agriculture, tourism, etc.

The new weather radar system is going to be exhibited at METEOROLOGICAL TECHNOLOGY WORLD EXPO 2013 to be held in this coming October in Brussels, Belgium.

Please visit the website to find out more about detailed specifications of the weather radar system as well as the case studies of meteorological monitoring conducted.

Shigeru ASAUMI, Business Manager
Systems Solution, Research & Development Department
Marine Electronics Products Division
Tel: +81-798-63-1201
9-52 Ashihara-cho, Nishinomiya, 662-8580 Japan

Original Source:: FURUNO Launches World’s Smallest and Lightest Weather Radar System for Meteorological Monitoring and Analysis