The manufacture of weather radar systems is the latest addition
to the burgeoning weather industry in Norman.
Oklahoma, particularly Norman, is home to numerous weather-
related pursuits, but manufacturing weather radar on a large scale
has not been one of them - until now.
Enterprise Electronics Corp., whose manufacturing headquarters is
in Alabama, is getting under way with a partnership with the
University of Oklahoma to manufacture low-cost, X-band, dual-
polarization weather radar. Company officials expect this new system
to be attractive to markets that previously couldn't afford such
To facilitate the project, Oklahoma's EDGE (Economic Development
Generating Excellence) program awarded $1.8 million to EEC, one of
three recipients in the last round of funding.
Chris Goode, EEC's vice president of marketing and business
development, said the company is looking for a manufacturing site in
Norman and is well under way on the design phase of the radar. The
effort eventually will mean at least 30 new high-tech jobs in
"There's a lot of legs to this particular technology," Goode
said. "Norman and OU is a great place to innovate because you have
so many bright people and minds to collaborate with. That's been the
driving force in our relationship with OU. It's that blending of new-
thinking research that only an institution like OU can conduct, then
marrying that with a commercial entity like EEC that can take those
great ideas and put them in a product model and allow that to
translate to benefits in the commercial sector."
EEC's new weather system is a version of the popular dual
polarization radar that it already produces. Historically, weather
radar has sent out energy in a single horizontal plane, Goode said.
But today's dual polarization science means the radar can send
energy out both horizontally and vertically. That energy pattern
provides an enhanced look at the volume of ice, rain or snow that is
EEC and OU have figured out a way to lower the cost of the radar
significantly so that new buyers should emerge, Goode said.
"We anticipate opening up and growing our business substantially
with this product," he said, "with the emphasis on low-cost. There
will be a new segment of potential buyers open up because we're able
to bring down the cost of ownership and cost of maintenance."
Potential new customers include smaller airports, smaller TV
stations, hydroelectric power plants and other entities whose
operations depend on accurately forecasting the amount of water
flow, Goode said.
EEC already has a significant international presence with its
radar systems. Its typical customer is a national weather service in
a foreign country; for example, EEC is replacing the Germany Weather
Service's existing radar with 19 new systems, Goode said. …