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Obtaining optimum photographic recording of data from weather radar presentations

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  • This paper discusses the theoretical design parameters of photographic data recording systems associated with atmospheric research radar. Practical considerations modify these theoretical results. The design of a recording system employed on the Range Height Indicator (RHI) scope of the weather Radar Set AN/CPS-9 atop McCulloch Peak, Oregon, illustrates the optimization of these modified parameters. Finances, an ever present practical consideration, required the use of a 16 mm camera as an element of this data recording system. Calculations show this equipment, using readily available present day films, incapable of recording all the information the RHI scope presents on all radar operational modes (range and pulse length combinations). However this system satisfactorily operates on short pulse up to 50 miles range or long pulse at all ranges. Comparable recordings of data require a constant radar returned signal strength versus scope intensity. Two methods of maintaining this relationship include: I) measuring the parameters which control the scope intensity and 2) measuring directly the light output of the scope. Measuring directly the light output of the scope offers the more accurate and practical method. The advantages of smaller physical size and greater sensitivity favor the photoconductor as a light measuring device for use in measuring the scope intensity. A cathode ray tube (CRT) Photometer illustrates the employment of a photoconductor as the light sensing element. The CRT Photometer, measuring the scope intensity directly, senses a standard strength radar signal which a radar signal generator test set, or a prominent area of ground clutter, provides. This provides the radar operator the necessary information to maintain a constant scope intensity-echo strength relationship. The photographic system records this as a constant scope intensity-film exposure density relationship allowing accurate repeatable weather radar scope data recording.
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