CRS - Description
Cloud Radar System (CRS)
The CRS is a 94 GHz (W-band; 3 mm wavelength) Doppler radar developed for autonomous operation in the NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft and for ground-based operation. It provides high-resolution profiles of reflectivity and Doppler velocity in clouds and has important applications to atmospheric remote sensing studies. The CRS was designed to fly with the Cloud Lidar System (CLS) in the tail cone of an ER-2 superpod. It was upgraded from 2012 through 2014 to include a new solid-state transceiver with pulse compression, data system, digital receiver, antenna, and power supply.
The modern CRS consists of subsystems including the transmitter/receiver, antenna, data system, digital receiver, and waveform generation & control. The transmitter uses a 30 Watt solid-state power amplifier (SSPA) developed by Quinstar Technologies Inc. and uses pulse compression to achieve high sensitivity and resolution. The transmit waveform uses two pulses and a chirp using frequency diversity. The digital receiver was designed by Remote Sensing Solutions Inc. and allows for simultaneous receiving and processing of up to eight subchannels in a staggered PRF. The antenna was developed by NASA/GSFC and Northrop Grummen Electronic System (NGES) under a 2010 Instrument Incubator Project (IIP) and is a half-meter reflectarray.
The upgraded CRS flew successfully in the 2014 Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment (IPHEX) where it collected reflectivity and Doppler data alongside EXRAD and HIWRAP to provide colocated airborne radar data at X-, Ku-, Ka-, and W-band.