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28 August 2013

FURUNO launches the world's smallest and lightest Weather Radar system for meteorological monitoring and analysis

FURUNO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. is pleased to announce that the development process of FURUNO X-band Doppler Weather Radar* has been completed. Subsequently, FURUNO is looking to deliver a solution for meteorological analysis that would greatly contribute to better safety in the society where the impact arising from the meteorological disasters can be diminished.

* Doppler Weather Radar measures not only location and intensity of precipitation but also wind speed and direction around the radar sensors by analysing the Doppler shift of the radio waves returned from precipitation particles in the wind.

FURUNO's new Weather Radar system consists of the Dual Polarimetric X-band Doppler Weather Radar** WR-2100 and the X-band Doppler Weather Radar*** WR-50 that can be classified as one of the world's smallest and lightest system available in the market. It is best-suited for local weather monitoring and forecasting, facilitating high precision real-time 3D monitoring of the meteorological phenomena.

**Dual Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar simultaneously transmits horizontally- and vertically-polarised radio waves and analyses the difference in received signal returns and their phase difference to compute quantitatively-analyzed precipitation.
***Doppler Weather Radar, in general, transmits horizontally-polarised radio waves and calculates precipitation intensity from the signal returns.

Real-time 3D monitoring of precipitation

The WR-2100 has ultra high definition spatiotemporal resolution capability****, capable of grasping omni-directional precipitation intensity in 50-metre-mesh in six-second-intervals. Also, the WR-2100 is capable of conducting high precision scan to obtain vertical structure of a cumulonimbus, which causes precipitation, as well as monitoring the movement of the nimbus as well as formulation of the raindrops.

****Ultra high definition spatiotemporal resolution capability is the ability to monitor and analyse localised phenomena minutely within the short duration of time.

Conventional Weather Radar, which is generally enormous and deployed at the top of the mountains, is not suited for locating nimbus emerged at the altitude from 500 to 2,000 m. It is such nimbus that FURUNO Weather Radar system is intended for locating. The radar antennas are designed to be deployed at the rooftop deck of the buildings in urban areas in mesh configuration with a distance of 30 km in between each antenna. As a result, the Radar system can detect nimbus in the distance, even though it may be blocked by other nimbus at the closer range. At the moment, FURUNO is looking to utilise this new Radar technology to enhance the precision level of rainfall prediction and to detect the development of short localised rainstorms, which are hard to predict.

"Multi Radar System" is constructed through networking more than three WR-2100. Alternatively, the system can also be constructed through networking one WR-2100 together with two WR-50, the latter of which conducts real-time monitoring of the horizontal movement of nimbus. It is capable of detecting the short localised rainstorms, which have often occurred recently in urban areas in Japan, and conducting 3D-monitoring of the rainstorm in real time. Also, the joint efforts between industry and academia***** are being made into realising practical application of localised weather forecasting system.

*****FURUNO conducts research and development for technology to facilitate real time rainfall prediction by means of ultra-high-definition spatiotemporal resolution analysis, in close collaboration with Kobe University and Kyoto University, Japan Science and Technology Agency as part of Adaptive and Seamless Technology transfer Program through target-driven R & D, Japan Science and Technology Agency.

As a total marine electronics manufacturer, FURUNO developed marine Radar that can be installed even on small fishing vessels in 1959. The development of compact, light-weight marine Radar, characterised by low power consumption for operation as well as competitive pricing of the unit, was a harbinger for marine Radar to be employed by smaller craft, such as fishing vessels, hydrofoils, etc. The new Weather Radar holds such tradition of FURUNO Radar in that its radome diameter (WR-2100: 108 cm and WR-50: 60 cm) is greatly downsized compared with conventional X-band Weather Radar whose radome diameter is approximately 3.5 m. It is needless to say that it is drastic downsizing, when compared them with conventional C-band and S-band Weather Radar whose radome diameters are approximately 7.0 m and 12.0 m, respectively.

The antenna unit of the WR-2100 or the WR-50 can be tucked in a minivan to be carried to the monitoring location. Also, it can be carried through an elevator to bring them up onto the monitoring site and installed by human personnel without using heavy machineries such as cranes. What is more, use of commercial electricity for its operation widen the scope of potential clients, who have hitherto shied away from employing conventional Weather Radar system, because of its limitations on available installation sites as well as operational costs. Such clients include weather service providers, local governments, research institutes, as well as other business organisations that provide information and conduct operation management for facilities of public transportation, sewage works, rivers authorities, civil engineering, agricultural industry, tourism industry, etc.

The new Weather Radar system is going to be exhibited at METEOROLOGICAL TECHNOLOGY WORLD EXPO 2013 to be held in this coming October in Brussels, Belgium.

Please visit the following web site: http://www.furuno.com/en/systems/ to find out more about detailed specifications of the Weather Radar system as well as the case studies of meteorological monitoring, conducted.

Contact Us

Marine Electronics Products Division
Systems Solution, Research & Development Department,
9-52 Ashihara-cho, Nishinomiya, 662-8580 Japan
Email: info-wr@furuno.co.jp

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