Radars Nationwide To Get Signal Processor Upgrade Over Next 10 Months

Aiming To Prepare, Not To Scare

Radars Nationwide To Get Signal Processor Upgrade Over Next 10 Months

The Weather Service in Birmingham announced yesterday afternoon that the KBMX radar out of Birmingham, AL will be receiving the first of its four upgrades it will receive over the next five years. These are called “service life extensions”. These upgrades will be replacing the current 20 year old hardware used in the radar sites. The radar site will be down for four days beginning Monday, December 12th.

The full statement from the NWS is below:

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Birmingham AL
222 PM CST Wed Dec 7 2016


The weather radar used by the National Weather Service Forecast
Office in Birmingham, Alabama (KBMX) will be down for
approximately four days beginning December 12, 2016, for
technicians to install an important technological upgrade. The
work on the WSR-88D has been scheduled to minimize any potential
impacts to office operations and will be delayed if hazardous
weather is forecast.

During the outage, radar coverage is available from adjacent radar
sites including KMXX, KGWX, KHTX, and KFFC. A crew will install a
new signal processor, which replaces obsolete technology, improves
processing speed and data quality, provides added functionality,
and supports IT security.

This is the first of four major upgrades, known as service life
extension projects, planned in the next five years to replace and
refurbish major components of the 20 year old WSR-88Ds and to keep
the radars operational into the 2030s. The $150 million investment
is being made by the three organizations that use these radars,
the NOAA National Weather Service, United States Air Force and
Federal Aviation Administration. The other service life extension
projects include refurbishing the transmitter, pedestal, and
equipment shelters.

The tri-agency Radar Operations Center, which supports the radars,
estimates it will take about 10 months to upgrade the signal
processor on all 159 operational WSR-88Ds.

For additional information regarding the upgrade to KBMX, please
contact Kevin Laws, Science and Operations Officer at National
Weather Service Birmingham at 205-664-3010, Extension 224.

A tentative deployment schedule is available:
%d bloggers like this: