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Procedures to Improve the Accuracy of Airborne Doppler Radar Data

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • | 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 3 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
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Abstract

The navigation correction method proposed in Testud et al. (referred to as the THL method) systematically identifies uncertainties in the aircraft Inertial Navigation System and errors in the radar-pointing angles by analyzing the radar returns from a flat and stationary earth surface. This paper extends the THL study to address 1) error characteristics on the radar display, 2) sensitivity of the dual-Doppler analyses to navigation errors, 3) fine-tuning the navigation corrections for individual flight legs, and 4) identifying navigation corrections over a flat and nonstationary earth surface (e.g., ocean).

The results show that the errors in each of the parameters affect the dual-Doppler wind analyses and the first-order derivatives in different manners. The tilt error is the most difficult parameter to determine and has the greatest impact on the dual-Doppler analysis. The extended THL method can further reduce the drift, ground speed, and tilt errors in all flight legs over land by analyzing the residual velocities of the earth surface using the corrections obtained in the calibration legs.

When reliable dual-Doppler winds can be deduced at flight level, the Bosart–Lee–Wakimoto method presented here can identify all eight errors by satisfying three criteria: 1) the flight-level dual-Doppler winds near the aircraft are statistically consistent with the in situ winds, 2) the flight-level dual-Doppler winds are continuous across the flight track, and 3) the surface velocities of the left (right) fore radar have the same magnitude but opposite sign as their counterparts of right (left) aft radar. This procedure is able to correct airborne Doppler radar data over the ocean and has been evaluated using datasets collected during past experiments. Consistent calibration factors are obtained in multiple legs. The dual-Doppler analyses using the corrected data are statistically superior to those using uncorrected data.

While this paper was in press, Brian Bosart was killed in a tragic automobile accident. He was a graduate student nearing the completion of his Ph.D. thesis. This paper is published in his memory

Corresponding author address: Dr. Wen-Chau Lee, Atmospheric Technology Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: wenchau@ucar.edu

Abstract

The navigation correction method proposed in Testud et al. (referred to as the THL method) systematically identifies uncertainties in the aircraft Inertial Navigation System and errors in the radar-pointing angles by analyzing the radar returns from a flat and stationary earth surface. This paper extends the THL study to address 1) error characteristics on the radar display, 2) sensitivity of the dual-Doppler analyses to navigation errors, 3) fine-tuning the navigation corrections for individual flight legs, and 4) identifying navigation corrections over a flat and nonstationary earth surface (e.g., ocean).

The results show that the errors in each of the parameters affect the dual-Doppler wind analyses and the first-order derivatives in different manners. The tilt error is the most difficult parameter to determine and has the greatest impact on the dual-Doppler analysis. The extended THL method can further reduce the drift, ground speed, and tilt errors in all flight legs over land by analyzing the residual velocities of the earth surface using the corrections obtained in the calibration legs.

When reliable dual-Doppler winds can be deduced at flight level, the Bosart–Lee–Wakimoto method presented here can identify all eight errors by satisfying three criteria: 1) the flight-level dual-Doppler winds near the aircraft are statistically consistent with the in situ winds, 2) the flight-level dual-Doppler winds are continuous across the flight track, and 3) the surface velocities of the left (right) fore radar have the same magnitude but opposite sign as their counterparts of right (left) aft radar. This procedure is able to correct airborne Doppler radar data over the ocean and has been evaluated using datasets collected during past experiments. Consistent calibration factors are obtained in multiple legs. The dual-Doppler analyses using the corrected data are statistically superior to those using uncorrected data.

While this paper was in press, Brian Bosart was killed in a tragic automobile accident. He was a graduate student nearing the completion of his Ph.D. thesis. This paper is published in his memory

Corresponding author address: Dr. Wen-Chau Lee, Atmospheric Technology Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: wenchau@ucar.edu

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