SR/SSD 97-38


Technical Attachment

WSR-88D Teletraining Course for HMTs

WSR-88D Operational Support Facility

Operations Training Branch

Norman, Oklahoma

During the fall of 1996, the OSF/OTB initiated a teletraining course for HMTs in the NWS Western Region. This was a pilot project to investigate the teletraining concept, its application to the target audience, and the utility of Audiographics teletraining equipment. It was also the first large scale field test of teletraining in the NWS. The Western Region purchased the necessary equipment for its field offices, and coordinated with the OSF/OTB in development and delivery of the training. The course is still ongoing, but results clearly indicate that it should be expanded to include all NWS offices.

Following is a description of the WSR-88D HMT Course as it has been delivered to the Western Region. In the weeks to come, the OTB will be soliciting feedback and further defining lessons learned. It is expected that the course will be modified as necessary, based on that evaluation, before a final version is developed for delivery to additional offices.

WSR-88D HMT Course


This course is taught mainly by teletraining and is delivered in a series of modules. The goal is to prepare the HMTs to better assist and support the WSR-88D radar operations at each office. The material presented is a blend of UCP (Unit Control Position) and PUP functions. Each module comprises a three to four hour interactive teletraining session, linking several offices at a time to the OTB. The schedule of sessions is made available well in advance, so HMTs at each office know when to dial into a session. The total teletraining time for the course (as applied in the Western Region evaluation) is 23 hours.

Each student receives a booklet of materials for each module. The booklet includes precursor material, the guide that they follow during the teletraining presentation, and review exercises. The SOO is sent a copy of the key to the review exercises, so the HMTs can check their work. The individual modules are as follows.

Module 1: Introduction to the WSR-88D and Narrowband Communications

This module presents an overview of the WSR-88D, emphasizing the components of the system and their connections to one another. We next focus on narrowband communications, discussing the meaning of the various narrowband status entries, and methods for troubleshooting line problems. Delivery time: 3 hours.

Module 2: Base Product Interpretation and Data Quality

This module presents an overview of the characteristics and interpretation of the Base Products. There is a separate section on the interpretation of radial velocity. The recognition of data quality problems that are inherent in meteorological Doppler radar is also a focus of this module. Delivery time: 4 hours.

Module 3: Clutter Suppression and Precipitation Detection

Clutter suppression has the greatest impact on data quality, thus it is treated separately in this module. The effect of appropriate and inappropriate clutter suppression on the products is presented. The methods for implementing clutter suppression are covered, as well as how clutter filtering works. Additionally, the Precipitation Detection Function is discussed, since it relates directly to clutter suppression. Delivery time: 3 hours.

Module 4: Precipitation Processing and WSR-88D Status Monitoring

Precipitation processing is particularly dynamic among the meteorological algorithms, and will continue to change in the future. Local office knowledge and participation in the change process is very important, thus precipitation processing gets special emphasis in this course. In anticipation of UCP related content in module 6, we also set the stage with status monitoring here. Delivery time: 3 hours.

Module 5: Derived Product Interpretation and Optimization

This module offers a survey of WSR-88D Derived Products. The emphasis is on the primary uses of each of the products presented and on the impact of making changes to the adaptable parameters. The algorithms associated with the products are also discussed to the extent necessary for the HMTs to understand the impact of changing the adaptable parameters. Delivery time: 4 hours.

Module 6: Data Quality through Operational Control

This is the most UCP intensive module of the course. It involves a discussion of RDA Control commands and multiple step procedures such as a power transfer. This is followed by a discussion of Volume Coverage Patterns, how to choose and implement a VCP, and how to manually select the appropriate PRF for a given event. Delivery time: 3 hours.

Module 7: Applied Case Studies

This module takes the HMTs through a series of events and tasks that involve many questions and decisions that must be made as part of the radar operations. The goal is to assimilate the material from all the previous modules as much as possible. Delivery time: 3 hours.