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Extending the Dynamic Range of an S-Band Radar for Cloud and Precipitation Studies

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, and NOAA/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 2 NOAA/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

A new S-band vertical profiler with a coupler option for extending the dynamic range of the radar’s receiver is discussed. The added dynamic range allows the profiler to record radar reflectivity measurements in moderate to heavy precipitation that otherwise would not have been possible with this system because of receiver saturation. The radar hardware, signal processor, and operating software are based on existing S-band and UHF profiler technology. Results from a side-by-side comparison with a calibrated Ka-band radar are used to determine the calibration and sensitivity of the S-band profiler. In a typical cloud profiling mode of operation, the sensitivity is −14 dBZ at 10 km. Examples taken from a recent field campaign are shown to illustrate the profiler’s ability to measure vertical velocity and radar reflectivity profiles in clouds and precipitation, with particular emphasis on the benefit provided by the coupler technology.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Allen B. White, NOAA/ETL, R/ET7, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303-3328.

Email: awhite@etl.noaa.gov

Abstract

A new S-band vertical profiler with a coupler option for extending the dynamic range of the radar’s receiver is discussed. The added dynamic range allows the profiler to record radar reflectivity measurements in moderate to heavy precipitation that otherwise would not have been possible with this system because of receiver saturation. The radar hardware, signal processor, and operating software are based on existing S-band and UHF profiler technology. Results from a side-by-side comparison with a calibrated Ka-band radar are used to determine the calibration and sensitivity of the S-band profiler. In a typical cloud profiling mode of operation, the sensitivity is −14 dBZ at 10 km. Examples taken from a recent field campaign are shown to illustrate the profiler’s ability to measure vertical velocity and radar reflectivity profiles in clouds and precipitation, with particular emphasis on the benefit provided by the coupler technology.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Allen B. White, NOAA/ETL, R/ET7, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303-3328.

Email: awhite@etl.noaa.gov

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