The basic system parameters for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) radar system are frequency, beamwidth, scan angle, resolution, number of independent samples, pulse repetition frequency, data rate, and so on. These parameters were chosen to satisfy NASA's mission requirements. Six candidates for the TRMM rain radar were studied. The study considered three major competitive items: (1) a pulse-compression radar vs. a conventional radar; (2) an active-array radar with a solid state power amplifier vs. a passive-array radar with a traveling-wave-tube amplifier; and (3) antenna types (planar-array antenna vs. cylindrical parabolic antenna). Basic system parameters such as radar sensitivities, power consumption, weight, and size of these six types are described. Trade-off studies of these cases show that the non-pulse-compression active-array radar with a planar array is considered to be the most suitable candidate for the TRMM rain radar at 13.8 GHz.
Communications Research Laboratory, Review (ISSN 0914-9279); 36; 11, J; 93-106