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Determining Weather Radar Antenna Pointing Using Signals Detected from the Sun at Low Antenna Elevations

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  • 1 Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • | 2 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, Netherlands
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Abstract

A method to determine the elevation and azimuth biases of the radar antenna using solar signals observed by a scanning radar is presented. Data recorded at low elevation angles where the atmospheric refraction has a significant effect on the propagation of the radio wave are used, and a method to take the effect of the refraction into account in the analysis is presented. A set of equations is given by which the refraction of the radio waves as a function of the relative humidity can easily be calculated. Also, a simplified model for the calculation of the atmospheric attenuation is presented. The consistency of the adopted models for the atmospheric refraction and atmospheric attenuation is confirmed by data collected at a single elevation pointing, but over a long observing time. Finally, the method is applied to datasets based on operational measurements at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), and elevation and azimuth biases of the radars are shown.

Corresponding author address: Asko Huuskonen, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland. Email: asko.huuskonen@fmi.fi

Abstract

A method to determine the elevation and azimuth biases of the radar antenna using solar signals observed by a scanning radar is presented. Data recorded at low elevation angles where the atmospheric refraction has a significant effect on the propagation of the radio wave are used, and a method to take the effect of the refraction into account in the analysis is presented. A set of equations is given by which the refraction of the radio waves as a function of the relative humidity can easily be calculated. Also, a simplified model for the calculation of the atmospheric attenuation is presented. The consistency of the adopted models for the atmospheric refraction and atmospheric attenuation is confirmed by data collected at a single elevation pointing, but over a long observing time. Finally, the method is applied to datasets based on operational measurements at the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), and elevation and azimuth biases of the radars are shown.

Corresponding author address: Asko Huuskonen, Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland. Email: asko.huuskonen@fmi.fi

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