Vaisala has only delivered weather radars since 2008, but has gotten orders for around 50 and delivered most of them. With only a few exceptions, these have been dual polarization weather radars.
Vaisala was first to build weather radars solely on the basis of optimizing dual polarization and we were also the first to provide high quality antennas that can truly measure dual polarization parameters accurately. If the antenna's cross depolarization ratio is poor or the rho (hv) value is less than 0.99, you may be out of luck. As very small differences between parameter values from the two polarizations are measured, a poor antenna can ruin your measurement from the start. This happens most often when an antenna built for single polarization is fitted with a dual pol feed and claimed to pass for a dual polarization radar. Read more about the issues around acceptable dual polarization performance in our white paper
Now after years of service everywhere in the world, we can also prove that our radars are more reliable and require less maintenance than other manufacturers' radars. The Vaisala antenna pedestal is agile as the antenna is brought near the center of rotation in azimuth. The unique drive algorithms, that eliminate the overshoot and shorten step motion settling time dramatically, and a genuine new drive train all contribute to minimal wear and nominal need for maintenance.
For weather radar applications, Vaisala is developing new algorithms that make use of the dual polarization measurement. A recently published enhanced echo estimator provides enhanced measurement capabilities at far ranges without the need to lift the transmitted power levels.
By acquiring Sigmet in 2006, we jumped into the forefront of weather radar signal processing and application software, and the development has continued since then. Even the latest generation RVP900 has sold more than 200 units two years after its introduction, and the previous RVP8 generation sold more than 400 units. Our cycle from research to operational products is the shortest of any weather radar manufacturer!