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Course Name:
ALC-434: NEXRAD
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Presented by:
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
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Course Descripion and Outline

Course Description

The purpose of this training module is to teach pilots the fundamentals of weather radar, as well as, the functions and limitations of NEXRAD and its associated products. includes: 1.) the differences between “clear air” and “precipitation” operating modes, 2.) a review of the weather life-cycle stages, 3.) types of thunderstorms, 4.) how these thunderstorms appear/look in NEXRAD imagery, 5.) instructions on several NEXRAD products. 6.) how to interpret NEXRAD output, and 7.) how to consult various informational sources when making weather-related flight decisions.


Key Principles: Radar Basics, NEXRAD, Thunderstorm Basics, Datalink Products, Aeronautical Decision Making


Course Synopsis

This course is composed of three sections. The Introduction, the NEXRAD Review, and the NEXRAD Exam. The Introduction is composed of eight lecture segments and two practicing scenarios. Each lecture segment focuses on a particular NEXRAD principle and a quiz to reinforce learning, while the scenarios allows students to practice the learned principles. The NEXRAD Review will summarize the learning objectives covered throughout this course, while the Exam will test students on the key NEXRAD principles.

Course Outline

1. Introduction to NEXRAD

This module provides a brief overview of the course’s purpose and components. The purpose of this training module is to teach pilots the fundamentals of weather radar as well as the functions and limitations of NEXRAD and its associated products.

2. Radar Basics

Learners will be able to describe the basics of how Radar works. This module gives an overview of the history and development of radar.

3. NEXRAD

Gives learners the opportunity to interpret a map with various Radar sites and to identify where Radar is sparse.

  4. NEXRAD Limitations/Specifics

Learners will be able to describe the main problems that occur with Radar beam spreading.

Learners will be able to briefly describe the three possible types of refraction that can occur.

Learners will be able to distinguish between radar reflectivity values and ATC VIP level classifications.

    5. Precipitation vs Clear Air Modes

Learners will be able to describe the difference between clear air and precipitation mode.

Learners will be able to give examples of volume coverage patterns (VCPs) and describe how VCPs affect pilots.

    6. Thunderstorm Basics

Learners will be able to describe the stages of thunderstorms by the National Weather Services’ definition.

Learners will be able to describe how different types of storms would appear on Radar.

  7. Products (NEXRAD and Datalink)

Learners will be able to describe the main issues with base and composite reflectivity products.

Learners will be able to explain how base and composite reflectivity products differ.

Learners will be able to understand how a mosaic is made as well as identifying different mosaics.

   8. Decision Making

Learners will understand the basics of aeronautical decision making.

Learners will be given preflight safety tips to aid in decision making.

Learners will be taught the difference between tactical and strategic decision making.

  9. Scenario 1

Learner will have the opportunity to practice NEXRAD principles learned in the lesson modules

  10. Scenario 2

Learner will have the opportunity to practice NEXRAD principles learned in the lesson modules

  11. Course Overview

Learners will receive a review of NEXRAD principles learned throughout this course

Categories for Course

Weather

Safety Tools

Training/Testing