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Radar Observers the Weather A tower and radome for the venerable WSR-57, the nationStill image:
Size: 3362 x 2522
Acquisition: Graphic, Scanned illustration
Frame rate: still
Clearance: No releases required
Location: Graphic
License: Royalty Free
Usage: Creative and Editorial
Point of view: Ground in scene
Geography: Rural
Still images available: Y
Keywords:   Radars, Conventional Instruments, Atmospheric science facilities, Weather Explanations, Weather Radar
Asset ID: 5388
Title: Radar Observers the Weather
Concept: A tower and radome for the venerable WSR-57, the nation's first radar network.
Detail: RADAR OBSERVES THE WEATHER - Since its development during World War II, radar has been a major meteorological observing tool, particularly valuable in the battle against severe storms. According to some sources, the first time a precipitation echo was detected by radar and recognized as such, was in 1943 at MIT's Lincoln Laboratories. At that time, the top secret radar project was developing a way to spot enemy aircraft at great distances. Initially, the returns from precipitation particles were considered a nuisance factor until someone realized what a valuable meteorological aid this could be. There are many ways to design radar systems. By changing the antenna shape and the wave length of the microwave radiation emitted, one can optimize radar systems to detect weather targets or aircraft, or combinations of both. The first weather radars in the United States were essentially reworked military radars applied for meteorological purposes. As a result of a series of hurricane disasters on the east coast in the middle 1950's, the United States embarked on a program of developing an exclusive meteorological radar - the analog, non-Doppler WSR-57 (Weather Surveillance Radar, 1957), which was the backbone for the U.S. Radar Network through the 1990s. A typical meteorological radar antenna is placed on a tower with a protective radome covering the antenna electronics inside, as shown here. The current NEXRAD (WSR-88D) network is an all digital system, with Doppler capibility to detect strong winds.

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