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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


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



Ground-based radars are instruments commonly used to surveil the precipitation climate of the surrounding areas. Weather events are characterized by collecting backscatter data and analyzing computed products such as the Reflectivity Factor, the Doppler Velocity, the Spectrum Width, the Differential Reflectivity, the Co-polar Correlation Coefficient and the Differential Propagation Phase. The ability of the radar to transmit different polarization waves, such as horizontal and vertical polarization, allow for further analysis of the weather given the capability to perform co-polar and cross-polar measurements. The Linear Depolarization Ratio is another computed product based on the difference in power between the co-polarized and cross-polarized channel used to, for example, classify and characterize the ice crystal types. In order to obtain this variable, the radar has to be able to receive in both horizontal and vertical polarizations but transmit in either of them.

This thesis presents the modifications performed on the MA-1 prototype radar from the CASA (Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere) Engineering Center to support cross-polarization measurement studies. The new radar, now known as UMass eXperimental X-Band (UMaXX) Radar is a dual-polarization radar able to transmit in both horizontal and vertical polarizations or single horizontal polarization and receive in both, making it able to compute LDR. The radar is installed atop of a tower located on Orchard Hill at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where it operates at all times. This thesis also presents the analysis of sample weather phenomena captured with the radar, including rain events and the Hardwick tornado, recorded on October 23rd 2018 and registered by the weather services.


First Advisor

Stephen Frasier