In what promises to be one of the biggest single contracts in the minimaker’s history, Tinton Falls, New Jersey-based Concurrent Computer Corp has received a written commitment from Unisys Corp for computers with a potential value of more than $88m for a proposed US national weather radar network intended to improve the warning time for such life-threatening hazards as tornados, wind shear and flash floods. The $450m project, called Nexrad, for Next Generation Weather Radar, will be the first weather forecasting and informatiaon network in the world to use Doppler radar in combination with high-performance minicomputers, according to federal officials. The calls for Unisys to deliver up to 175 Nexrad systems for installation throughout the US, the Caribbean, and at military bases in Western Europe and the Pacific, with delivery starting this year and completion set for the mid-1990s. The plan is for each Nexrad system to include three Concurrent 3200 series machines, a total order of 542 computers plus spare parts and maintenance service. Enhancements may increase the number of computers further. Each Nexrad system is to use a top-end Model 3280 to gather and process Doppler radar data at high speeds, and one low-end 3212 will be used to interface the radar equipment with the rest of the system and a second to pipeline processed data to individual user terminals. And a third 3212 processor may be integrated at some locations to support additional user terminals. The Nexrad project is a joint effort of the US Departments of Commerce, Defense and Transportation, and has been under development since the late 1970s.