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Expanded Quantum Capabilities

February 15, 2014
Oklahoma Earthquake ChartOU-PRIME (Nicknamed heretofore Optimus Prime by me) stands for Polarimetric Radar for Innovations in Meteorology and Engineering. The OU-PRIME is the latest advance in meteorological instrumentation and weather radar.The radar system was completed in early 2009. It is the highest-resolution, dual-polarization, C-band weather radar in the United States. C-band radar systems are a staple of local television stations because of their small dish size and short-range data. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also uses C-band radar systems. The National Weather Service will be upgrading to dual-polarization radar as soon as 2010.

Where Is OU-PRIME?:
OU-PRIME was officially commissioned at the University of Oklahoma on April 4, 2009. The radar is part of the Atmospheric Radar Research Center(ARRC) at the University. The ARRC is an interdisciplinary center between OU’s schools of Meteorology and Electrical and Computer Engineering.OU-PRIME is located just east of the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. It is another step in making Norman, Oklahoma the weather radar capitol of the world [AS WELL AS THE EARTHQUAKE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD]. One of the main purposes of the radar system is for research in both engineering and in meteorology.

OU-PRIME, aka OU’, is located on the Research Campus of the University of Oklahoma within walking distance of the National Weather Center building. Through a unique design, OU-PRIME can provide real-time time-series data providing opportunities for rapid developments in radar signal processing algorithms. Because of its C-band wavelength and 1 MW transmit power, OU-PRIME is extremely sensitive to clouds with approximately 10 dB more sensitivity over the NEXRAD system (S-band).


  • Location 35°10′48.8″N 97°26′0.6″WCoordinates35°10′48.8″N 97°26′0.6″W
  • Radiating Center Height is 80 feet (24.4 m)
  • Operating frequency: 5510 MHz (C-band)
    • Wavelength: 5.44 cm
    • Pulse Length: 0.4, 0.8, 1.0, 2.0 µs
    • Pulse Repetition Frequency: 300–2000 Hz, 1 Hz step
  • 1 MW Peak Power (magnetron with solid-state modulator) That is 1,000,000 watts pulsing overhead and THROUGH you and your children
  • 8.5-meter Andrew precision C-band dish
    • High angular resolution: 0.45 degrees @ -3 dB points
    • Gain: 50 dBi
    • Sidelobe Level: Better than -26 dB one-way
    • Cross-Pol: Better than -30 dB
  • Rotation rate: 6-25 deg/s under typical scanning (30 deg/s max)
  • Minimum Detectable Signal: -112 dBm
    • Radar Sensitivity: -15 dBZ at 50 km
    • Noise Figure: 3 dB
  • Simultaneous dual-polarization
  • Flexible computing platform for real-time algorithm development
  • Real-time I/Q data recording/processing
    • A/D converter resolution: 16 bit
    • Receiver bandwidth: 6 MHz
    • Gate spacing: 25–500 m
    • Number of range gates: up to 2200
    • Clutter suppression: 60 dB (automatic detection/suppression using CLEAN-AP [1])
    • Advanced signal processing framework based on new STEP algorithm, including clutter estimation/suppression and multi-lag moment estimation

Also in 2011/2012 additional quantum field earthquake inducing devices were upgraded

Dual-Pol Upgrade
The dual-polarization radar upgrade for all three WSR-88D sites in the NWS Norman forecast area has been completed! (WOW I’M EXCITED)

  • The Frederick WSR-88D (KFDR) in southwestern Oklahoma upgrade was completed on October 13, 2012.
  • The Twin Lakes WSR-88D (KTLX) in central Oklahoma upgrade was completed on October 7, 2012.
  • The Vance AFB WSR-88D (KVNX) in north central Oklahoma was completed in March of 2011.

These upgrades incorporate a new technology called dual-polarization, or dual-pol.  Dual-pol is part of the NWS vision to build a weather-ready nation to better protect lives and livelihoods.  This new technology will result in 14 new radar products that will enable us to continue providing our suite of high quality products and services to the citizens of central Oklahoma.  This new technology and data primarily will help forecasters identify the type of precipitation that is falling as well as improve rainfall estimates.

We strongly encourage all users of these new products to complete a series of online training modules that were recorded by the Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB).  Modules are available for non-NWS meteorologists and non-meteorologists through this website.

From → Geophysics

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