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Millimeter-wave airborne radar for learning and education (MARBLE): an undergraduate student mission
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Paper Abstract

Supported by NASA’s Undergraduate Student Instrumentation Project (USIP), OU-IART worked with Garmin International Inc. to develop a novel, low C-SWaP, high-altitude storm-chasing radar, called MARBLE. The radar operates at 35 GHz (Ka-band), and the concept of operation is flying over the top of a convective storm to measure the reflectivity and vertical motion of the clouds. The system design is extremely simple and low-cost, which uses single-stage up-down conversion between Ka-Band operation and the X-band “base radar transceiver”. The radar is very easy to operate by a pilot, through a simple switch. Laboratory tests and ground verifications were performed, and the system airworthiness has been validated. The systems developments started in spring 2016, and the initial engineering validation flights were performed in Sep 2018, using a NASA high-altitude aircraft (ER-2). Initial flight tests show that MARBLE can operate in high-altitude environments and obtain return signatures from various targets. Further data processing is ongoing to evaluate the effectiveness of precipitation observations. In addition, the design, development and testing process successfully served the educational goals of the program.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2019
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 11003, Radar Sensor Technology XXIII, 110031D (3 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2518431
Show Author Affiliations
Jakob Fusselman, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Matthew Gilliam, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Yan (Rockee) Zhang, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
John Dyer, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Cameron Homeyer, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11003:
Radar Sensor Technology XXIII
Kenneth I. Ranney; Armin Doerry, Editor(s)

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