Consulting engineers help with Canada’s Doppler Radar Project
October 8, 2004
By Canadian Consulting Engineer
Canada's weather network has been strengthened with the rehabilitation and expansion of its radar prediction system...
Canada’s weather network has been strengthened with the rehabilitation and expansion of its radar prediction system.
The Doppler Radar project was completed last month. The Environment Canada project began in 1996 with planning to rehabilitate 21 existing stations and add 10 new ones in strategic locations across Canada.
The first new tower was erected near Regina, Saskatchewan in late 1998, and the last one between Kapuskaping and Timmins was completed in September. There are now 31 towers, which can detect storms etc. from as far away as 250 kilometres.
Environment Canada Meteorological Service says that with the enhanced network its people should be able to provide better forecasts of severe events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and freezing rain. Being able to predict heavy rain more accurately will also allow municipalities to anticipate flooding and manage water systems so that there will be reduced sewer system run-off.
Consulting engineers Morrison Hershfield and Weisman Consultants, both of Toronto, were called in as independent consultants and redesigned 12 of the new support structures. The free-standing towers are anywhere between 15 metres and 28 metres high, supporting the 6-metre antenna dish on a platform. Because the radar dish is continuously rotating at different speeds and moving up and down, it creates vibrations and unusual torques and stresses on the towers.