Every modern weather radar system needs a computer-based Radar Control Processor for managing and controlling all the radar site equipment functions.
The RCP-10 uses a COTS industrial PC, equipped with special add-on hardware and dedicated software running under the Linux operating system. The RCP-10 computer contains two hard discs connected in a RAID mirroring mode, and has redundant hot-swap power supplies for outstanding reliability. The RCP-10 receives azimuth/elevation data from the antenna control unit through dedicated parallel or serial I/O ports, and exchanges commands and status with the various radar sub-systems. The RCP-10 controls the radar signal processor and receives the moment data through the Ethernet LAN. The RCP-10 accepts commands from a host computer (such as a radar data processor, a local console, or any other user provided system) via Gigabit Ethernet, and transmits moment data in volume format, along with status data gathered from the entire radar system, back to the host. The optional RCU is a local control unit that act as a user interface to control and monitor radar functions when in LOCAL (maintenance) mode. The transmitter interface is used to control the radar transmitter and to receive the TX status/BITE information. This can be via a parallel or a serial interface, depending upon the transmitter type. The ACU azimuth and elevation servo controller receives scan commands from the RCP-10 and drives the antenna accordingly.
Main functions Scan scheduling (automatic sequencing of desired scanning programs at predefined times); Radar-transmitter management (LV, HV, radiation) with related alarm management; Antenna control unit management; Data ingest from radar signal processor; Control of signal-processing options; Radar data (moments) archiving and delivery to the clients; Calibration management; Local radar control for maintenance purpose; BITE management.
The radar signal processor (RSP) computes the data moments sent to the RCP-10 for data formatting. The RSP receives from the RCP-10 the various setup parameters required to produce the desired data moments. The client console provides a graphical user interface from which it is possible to control and monitor all the radar functions at the radar site, including the scan schedule and all processing parameters.
The RCP-10 implements a powerful scan-scheduler that can be programmed by the RDP or by the console, so that the RCP-10 can execute the programmed scan patterns of a given radar independently and without further intervention. This feature allows the radar to continue operating even in case of temporary lack of communication with the RDP.