Cuba is working on modernizing its network of eight radars to gradually incorporate Doppler technology, which allows for greater precision in determining the strength and speed of winds during a hurricane, in addition to other variables related to these phenomena.
The Doppler system has so far only been available on the radar in the province of Camagüey, since 2012, where the national network of this equipment is located. Its specialists are currently working on updating the radar of Casablanca, in Havana.
Orlando Rodriguez Gonzalez, head of the National Radar Center, explained to ACN that there are already Doppler receivers and data processing software on all radars in the country, while there are different technical conditions in each of them to be able to incorporate the technology.
He pointed out that a great advance for the modernization of the equipment has been the automation, for several years now, of the entire network, with observations synchronized and decoded in a single format, and accessible from any point of the national meteorological network.
In addition to greater precision in determining the strength and speed of winds during a hurricane, Doppler technology allows for predicting coastal flooding, detecting the occurrence of tornadoes within cyclones and identifying the position of heavy rainfall bands.
According to Rodriguez Gonzalez, the technological renovation of the Cuban radars to the Doppler, from the first prototype in Camagüey, has been done with solutions generated from the Development Group of the center located in that province, significantly reducing costs.
Such a system, if purchased completely on the international market, would cost about three million dollars, but the specialist said that the acquisition of parts independently and subsequent assembly in the country, reduces costs to less than one hundred thousand dollars.
The solutions generated at the national level are also adjusted to the specific climatic variables of Cuba, to the operating conditions of the radars, and to the energy demand of the nation, which with its eight devices is in sixth position worldwide in terms of radar density per surface area.