Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering

First Advisor

Zoya Popović

Second Advisor

William O.J. Brown

Third Advisor

Albin J. Gasiewski


This thesis presents the design of a 449 MHz radar for wind profiling, with a focus on modularity, antenna sidelobe reduction, and solid-state transmitter design. It is one of the first wind profiler radars to use low-cost LDMOS power amplifiers combined with spaced antennas. The system is portable and designed for 2-3 month deployments. The transmitter power amplifier consists of multiple 1-kW peak power modules which feed 54 antenna elements arranged in a hexagonal array, scalable directly to 126 elements. The power amplifier is operated in pulsed mode with a 10% duty cycle at 63% drain efficiency. The antenna array is designed to have low sidelobes, confirmed by measurements. The radar was operated in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. Atmospheric wind vertical and horizontal components at altitudes between 200m and 4km were calculated from the collected atmospheric return signals.

Sidelobe reduction of the antenna array pattern is explored to reduce the effects of ground or sea clutter. Simulations are performed for various shapes of compact clutter fences for the 915-MHz beam-steering Doppler radar and the 449-MHz spaced antenna interferometric radar. It is shown that minimal low-cost hardware modifications to existing compact ground planes of 915-MHz beam-steering radar allow for reduction of sidelobes of up to 5dB. The results obtained on a single beam-steering array are extended to the 449 MHz triple hexagonal array spaced antenna interferometric radar. Cross-correlation, transmit beamwidth, and sidelobe levels are evaluated for various clutter fence configurations and array spacings. The resulting sidelobes are as much as 10 dB below those without a clutter fence and can be incorporated into existing and future 915 and 449 MHz wind profiler systems with minimal hardware modifications.