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Pavlos Kollias at the 99th AMS in Phoenix Arizona, next to a real size replica of a CubeSat radar that is currently operating in space.

Radar meteorology in the era of collaborative networks and constellations

Prof Pavlos Kollias | Stony Brook University & Brookhaven National Lab (BNL)  |  international faculty member University of Cologne

Abstract: For over half a century, radars have been the primary source of observational insights of clouds and precipitation microphysics and dynamics and contributed to numerous significant advancements in the field of cloud and precipitation physics. In the early days, federal laboratories and Universities supplied with military surplus equipment lead the advancement of techniques that have further strengthened the meteorological measurements from radars. However, the basic architecture of atmospheric radars has changed little since it was first introduced after World War II. The last ten years, advancements in radar technology, engineering and big data computing have enabled the development of sophisticated, scalable radar sensors that can provide the leap in observational power required to address some of the observational shortcomings of the last 50 years. Here we will discuss at a high level two such innovations: electronically scanned or phased-array radars and miniaturized spaceborne radars (CubeSats). These innovations are expected to disrupt the way we design radar-based observing systems and lead us to new observational discoveries either as a single system or as part of a network or constellation. The high-resolution big data provided by these collaborative networks and constellations are expected to advance our predicting capabilities at regional and global scales.