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ARRC Next-Generation Radar System Recognized by IEEE

June 13, 2023

ARRC Next-Generation Radar System Recognized by IEEE

The Advanced Radar Research Center at the University of Oklahoma has been changing the way researchers examine the atmosphere using phased array weather radar for years. Now, with the support of NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, “Horus,” a fully digital, mobile rotating phased array radar that will help advance weather radar science for decades to come, has been recognized in the latest issue of IEEE Transactions on Radar Systems.

“This peer-reviewed publication represents a culmination of years of effort by the ARRC to develop Horus,” Robert Palmer, Ph.D., executive director of the ARRC, the Tommy C. Craighead Chair in the OU School of Meteorology, and associate vice president for research and partnerships, said.

Named after the Egyptian sky god with the all-seeing eye, Horus allows weather scientists to rapidly scan the atmosphere using 1600 individual elements, obtaining nearly continuous vertical sampling data used in predicting severe storms, tornadoes, and other high-impact events. The ARRC has recently completed the system integration of the Horus radar and is already deploying the radar for polarimetric weather measurements.

Fully digital phased array radars like Horus have the potential of much higher temporal resolution, spatial coverage and data quality than the previous generation of weather radars. These benefits are especially advantageous for minimizing observational gaps in extremely dense elevation samples and mitigating interference, ground clutter and non-stationary clutter like wind turbines.

“Horus is a software-defined radar, which means that future upgrades will involve software updates rather than costly hardware changes,” Palmer said. “In essence, fully digital radars can be considered ‘future proof’.”

With the reconfigurability, Horus and other highly agile digital phased array radars have the potential of being the future of weather radar technology with lifetimes of 30 to 40 years of yet-to-be-defined missions.

Future plans for Horus include combining measurements with data from other observation platforms such as rapid-scan satellite radar data for convergent research, implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning, and developing a larger array superstructure with upwards of 10,000 individual elements. Such a superstructure would rival today’s operational radar systems but would have all the advantages of the fully digital Horus weather radar.

Learn more about the Advanced Radar Research Center, follow them on Twitter @OUARRC, and read the full paper from IEEE at