Doppler Radar Wind Profilers(DRWP)

915 MHz DRWP Data

The U.S. Space Force operates a network of five Radian LAP-3000 915-MHz Doppler Radar Wind Profilers (DRWPs) in the Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (KSC/CCSFS) area. These profilers provide high-resolution wind estimates between the top of the KSC/CCSFS wind tower network at 150 meters and the lowest gate of the NASA Tropospheric DRWP at 2 kilometers. The data are used in support of launch, landing, and ground operations on the Eastern Range.

The five profilers are arranged in a diamond-like pattern over the KSC/CCSFS area with an average spacing of 10–15 kilometers, as shown in the map.

  • RWP0001 South Cape 915 MHz DRWP
  • RWP0002 False Cape 915 MHz DRWP
  • RWP0003 Merritt Island 915 MHz DRWP
  • RWP0004 Mosquito Lagoon 915 MHz DRWP
  • RWP0005 Ti-Co (formerly Titusville-Cocoa) Space Coast Regional Airport 915 MHz DRWP
They are operated in a configuration with one vertical beam and two orthogonal oblique beams. The beam directions at each individual site were chosen to minimize potential interference from ground clutter. A 12 minute wind consensus period has been established. As a result, horizontal and vertical wind profile estimates are generated every 15 minutes.

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TDRWP 5 Minute Average Data

The KSC 48-MHz Tropospheric Doppler Radar Wind Profiler (TDRWP), in its operational support configuration, measures wind speed and direction at 150 meter intervals from 2,011 to 18,661 meters. The data were used to evaluate wind persistence between the last precision wind sounding balloon (Jimsphere), about 1 hour before launch, and launch of a Space Shuttle. Other launch vehicles may soon begin using the TDRWP in a similar manner.

The benefit of the TDRWP is avoidance of the risk associated with undetected wind changes large enough to threaten the vehicle or the mission. The 6–17 kilometer region is the region in which large launch vehicles are most sensitive to wind changes.

The 48-MHz TDRWP is located near the Space Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF). In 2014, the new RAPTOR® FBS-MST system was installed to replace the Tycho Technologies’ 49.25-MHz Doppler Radar Wind Profiler (DRWP). The replacement system has essentially the same performance characteristics. The consensus software supplied with the original profiler was replaced by a “first-guess median filter” algorithm developed at Marshall Space Flight Center that also provides capability for real-time interactive quality control of the data. Profiles are generated every 5 minutes. Each profile contains data at each of 119 range gates that represent a slice of the atmosphere 150 meters thick. Gate 1 is at a nominal altitude of 1,800 meters while gate 119 is at 19,400 meters.

The original wind profiler was a 3-beam system; and the file fields still reflect a 3-beam configuration. Rather than changing the format of the files to accommodate the nominal 4-beam configuration, the fields have been adapted to accept either 3- or 4-beam operation. In the 4-beam configuration, there are two pairs of opposing oblique beams. The variables measured at each gate include the signal power, noise power, Doppler return frequency, and spectral width. Three fields are generated for each variable. The first two are the averaged data from the two pairs of opposing beams. The third is the averaged data for all four beams. These data are converted into estimates at each gate of the horizontal wind direction and speed, the vertical speed, and the signal-to-noise ratio in each beam. At each of the 119 range gates, the KSC TDRWP produces 288 wind speed and direction values daily.

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