Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

David J. McLaughlin

Second Advisor

Stephen Fraiser

Third Advisor

Daniel H. Schaubert

Subject Categories

Electrical and Computer Engineering | Electromagnetics and Photonics


This document address the feasibility of low-cost, dual-polarized, X-band phased array antennas for use in dense radar networks for weather surveillance. The "phase-tilt" architecture under investigation combines one-dimensional, electronic beam steering with mechanical actuation (tilting) to achieve a low-cost design capable of rapid, two-dimensional beam positioning without the use of a large scanning pedestal. This architecture is less complex and costly than a full, two-dimensional "phase-phase" array. In addition to meeting requirements for cost, it has the potential to meet requirements for off-axis polarization performance and other key requirements. A prototype antenna already has been designed, fabricated and tested. It defines a new state-of-the-art for remote sensing of weather using small radars. The prototype antenna also serves as a test bed and proof of concept for exploring a potential future network comprised of many antennas arranged in a dense network. This dissertation reviews the current state-of-the-art (in weather radars, dense radar networks, dual-polarized radars, and phased arrays); presents the design, implementation, testing, and validation experiments of the prototype array; and establishes performance requirements for this technology for deployment in future networks of small weather radars.