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NEW PARAMAX WSR-88D WEATHER RADAR HAILED FOR PREDICTIONS ON HURRICANE ANDREW

 NEW PARAMAX WSR-88D WEATHER RADAR HAILED
 FOR PREDICTIONS ON HURRICANE ANDREW
 McLEAN, Va., Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Weather specialists who tracked Hurricane Andrew during its recent rampage through Florida and Louisiana hailed Paramax Systems Corporation's NEXRAD WSR-88D advanced Doppler weather radar as a key factor in more accurate forecasting, according to the National Meteorological Center in Camp Springs, Md.
 "A NEXRAD radar located in Melbourne, Fla., began tracking the storm's eye early on," said Dr. Ron McPherson, director of the National Meteorological Center. "Although the radar was almost 200 miles away, we were certain it would perform wonderfully in circumstances like this. In fact, NEXRAD tracked the eye for 15 hours and achieved results beyond our expectations. We are extremely proud of our predictions and feel it was an excellent forecast." Use of the Melbourne radar was particularly important, since the older radar at Coral Gables, Fla., was destroyed when Hurricane Andrew roared through South Florida.
 McPherson said using the latest technology such as the WSR-88D provided a forecast "as good as we can do," saving lives and reducing evacuation costs, which can cost up to $1 million per mile of coastline. "An advanced system like NEXRAD is a definite bright spot when faced with a situation like Hurricane Andrew," McPherson said. "We now have the capability of making more accurate projections, enabling us to avoid potentially dangerous circumstances."
 The WSR-88D radar, like conventional radars, sends out pulses of energy which are reflected back to the radar from rain and other types of precipitation. The WSR-88D is so sensitive, however, that it can even detect and display clear-air boundaries (such as cold fronts) that are free of precipitation. In addition, by measuring the shift in frequency of returning radar signals, the system can make use of the Doppler effect to determine radial wind speed and direction.
 This precise atmospheric information can then be used by the WSR- 88D computers to display precisely the information forecasters need to make weather forecasts and issue warnings. All weather information is displayed over detailed, computerized maps that can show such features as cities, counties, rivers, highways and other important geographic features.
 The radar has already greatly improved the ability of the National Weather Service to detect the presence of severe weather and reduce false alarm rates. In Oklahoma, warning times for tornadoes have gone from between zero and 2 minutes warning to an average of about 15 minutes, with more than 20 minutes warning time in the case of some larger storms.
 According to Robert Landis, deputy director, National Weather Service, 10 WSR-88D radars are currently operational. The 11th radar, the first of the full-scale production phase, is expected to become operational in Bannister, Kan., in mid-September. "A nationwide network of 137 radars is scheduled for implementation by 1996," he said. "This network is just the first step in modernizing available technology for the weather environment."
 Additional WSR-88D radars are also scheduled to be installed at selected international sites in support of military operations. A total of 159 WSR-88D systems are slated for installation.
 The 10 operational WSR-88D sites are located in Oklahoma City and Frederick, Okla.; Sterling, Va.; Melbourne and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Dodge City, Kan.; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.; and Houston/Galveston, Texas. A WSR-88D radar in Norman, Okla., is also operational, serving as the Operational Support Facility for the entire WSR-88D program.
 Paramax Systems Corporation, headquartered in McLean, is a $2 billion information systems company with 16,000 employees. A subsidiary of Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS), Blue Bell, Pa., Paramax is an experienced leader in complex systems integration, custom electronic products and related professional services for the U.S. Department of Defense, other U.S. government agencies, Canada and nations on five continents.
 Unisys Corporation is a major information systems company with more than 60,000 customers in more than 100 countries. The company is a leading manufacturer of commercial information systems, defense systems and related services.
 -0- 8/28/92
 /NOTE: Interviews with Paramax technical staff are available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Laura N. Overstreet of Paramax, 703-847-3375/ CO: Paramax Systems Corporation; Unisys Corporation ST: Virginia IN: SU:


KD -- DC018 -- 4497 08/28/92 15:26 EDT
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Date:Aug 28, 1992
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