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Modeling and Simulation of Notional Future Radar in Non‐Standard Propagation Environments Facilitated by Mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction Modeling

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Normal near surface radio‐frequency (RF) propagation in the littorals across the land–sea boundary is rare due to the land–sea temperature difference, coastline shape, ground cover, urban density, coastal topography, and soil moisture content. The resulting frequent existence of coastal non‐standard vertical profiles of refractivity and the resulting RF propagation has a profound impact on the performance of Navy ship‐borne radars operating within 100 nm of the shore. In addition, these non‐standard RF propagation conditions are spatio‐temporally inhomogeneous. These spatial and time dependent propagation conditions and the resulting radar engineering implications cannot be revealed by a single vertical profile of refractivity taken near the ship borne radar. The results from single profile analysis techniques provide no spatiotemporal information and may lead to overly conservative radar design. Mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a rapidly maturing technology with a strong operational Navy history that can provide a vertical profile of refractivity every 1 km in the battle space and every hour, up to 48 h, in the future. The Sensor Division at NSWCDD has applied mesoscale NWP for the last 2 years to better understand the performance of prototype radar in realistic four‐dimensional (4D) coastal environments. Modern RF parabolic equation models are designed to model specific radar designs and to employ 3D refractivity fields from mesoscale NWP models. This allows for a radar design to be tested in realistic littoral non‐standard atmospheres produced by stable internal boundary layers, sea breeze events, and the more rare sub‐refractive events. Mesoscale NWP is currently qualitative for this purpose, but a research and development program focused on sea testing of prototype radars is described with the purpose of developing a more quantitative mesoscale NWP technology to support radar acquisition, testing, and operations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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