Radiometrics (through its recently acquired DeTect Meteorological Systems Group) was selected to replace the aging troposphere/stratosphere RWP system at NASA Kennedy Space Center. At the time, NASA was utilizing weather balloons to determine winds aloft, and loosely relying on their old RWP as a backup. NASA heavy-lift community’s interest in precise, current winds spurred the need for the new RWP system. This replacement project is expected to last for the next 20 years.
NASA had an aging radar infrastructure that needed to be replaced and upgraded. Radiometrics took on this project, but soon realized that they needed to partner with an antenna manufacturer who could meet the specifications of their custom engineered design.
Some of the criteria that the antenna manufacturer would need to meet were:
- Develop a unique antenna solution which could be “tuned” to operate together within a large system
- Design the antenna to be durable enough to withstand strong hurricane winds
- Have the capability and technical skill to build hundreds of identical antennas, a critical requirement to ensure the overall system met specifications
Radiometrics contacted several suppliers but only a few could meet these requirements. Sinclair Technologies stood out as the front runner due to their ability to customize and manufacture antennas in large quantities. To ensure the antenna arrived at the correct engineered solution, Radiometrics was actively involved in the project and worked with Sinclair’s design engineers to learn the design approach and testing processes.
As well, Radiometrics and Sinclair worked as partners to ensure that the antennas met performance requirements and that the large quantity of Yagi antennas were built completely identical to each other. Sinclair was able to complete this project with success producing 640 identical 49.25 MHz Yagi antennas.
Currently the Yagi antennas are used in a large Radar Wind Profiler system at NASA Kennedy Space Center. This system is used by NASA to help ensure the safe launch of rockets.