Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S.E.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Upgrades to the University of Massachusetts S-Band FMCW boundary layer vertical wind profiling radar for use in the VORTEX-Southeast campaign are discussed. During the experiment, the radar characterizes velocity and reflectivity in clear-air and light to moderate precipitation conditions. Data is presented from the experiment which illustrates system performance and typical environmental results. This thesis begins with relevant background information on FM-CW radar operation, scattering mechanisms, and other calculations relevant to results discussed. The system hardware is described, along with improvements and modifications made prior to and during the experiment. Collected data is used to demonstrate system capabilities, improvements made, and remaining challenges. Various environmental features in the case of clear-air and precipitation are identified in the dataset. Several examples of Drop Size Distribution (DSD) estimates are presented, and the possibility of separating vertical wind speed biases from rain data is explored. Finally, the validity of results of DSD estimates are discussed.

First Advisor

Stephen Frasier

Second Advisor

Paul Siqueira

Third Advisor

Ramakrishna Janaswamy