Scientific Director's Overview of 2007


Steve Rutledge
Steve Rutledge

This is now the 16th edition of the CSU-CHILL Newsletter. Our Newsletters have been published nearly every year that the CHILL has been at Colorado State University, starting in 1991.

The major activity we completed this year was installation of our new 9 meter dual-offset antenna and new radome structure. Later in the Newsletter we report on data collection with the new antenna. The new antenna is amazing in its data quality. measurements can now be made to nearly -40 db. Due to the substantial reduction in sidelobe radiation, ground clutter with the new antenna is markedly reduced. Testing and evaluation of the new antenna continues.

CHILL now features a new in-house designed and built signal processor and dual-channel digital receivers. We also have installed a digital transmitter controller, which allows us to transmit identical waveforms on the H and V transmitters. The transformational changes to the CSU-CHILL radar enabled by these subsystems is the subject of the next section.

We are now embarking on another major project, the development of a dual-polarized X-band system for CHILL. This radar will utilize the new 9 meter reflector after adding a dual-wavelength feedhorn, and as a result, will allow a 0.33 degree beamwidth at X-band, superposed within the 1 degree field of view of the S-band beam. We plan for this dual-wavelength version of CHILL to be operational in roughly 18-24 months. We are also investigating the use of solid state transmitters to replace our aged, water cooled klystron dual transmitters.

In the following sections we also detail data collection activities with the CSU-CHILL system as well as educational activities. During the last few months, we also welcomed Jim George to our radar staff. Jim recently completed his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering under the guidance of Prof. Chandrasekar. Jim now works full time for CHILL as its Junior Engineer, under the guidance of Chief Engineer, David Brunkow. We are very pleased to have Jim on our staff.