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A Study on Optimum Tilt Angle for Wind Estimation Using Indian MST Radar

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  • 1 National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • | 2 Department of Physics, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India
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Abstract

The effect of tilt angle on horizontal wind estimation is studied using Indian mesosphere–stratosphere–troposphere (MST) radar located at Gadanki (13.45°N, 79.18°E). It operates in Doppler beam swinging (DBS) mode with a beamwidth of 3°. Horizontal winds are computed for different tilt angles from 3° to 15° with an increment of 3° from a height range of 3.6–18 km. The effective beam pointing angle (θeff) is calculated to determine the effect of aspect sensitivity on the determination of horizontal wind components. For different tilt angles radar-derived winds are compared with simultaneous GPS sonde wind measurements, which were launched from a nearby site. The first method utilizes direct comparison of radar-derived winds with those of GPS sondes using the actual beam pointing angle; the second method uses the effective beam pointing angle derived from the ratios of two oblique beams. For this study a variety of statistics were explored in terms of standard deviation, correlation coefficient, and percentage error. From the results it is observed that in agreement with previous studies, the effective beam pointing angle deviates from the actual beam pointing angle, which results in the underestimation of horizontal wind components, and also when tilt angle is close to zenith and far from zenith, the estimation of horizontal winds is found to be far from true values at different heights. Radar wind estimation has better agreement with GPS sonde measurement when the off-zenith angle is around 10°. It is also found that correction to the actual beam pointing angle provides 3%–6% improved agreement between the radar and GPS wind measurements.

Corresponding author address: V. K. Anandan, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, PB. 123, Tirupati 517 502, AP, India. Email: anandanvk@narl.gov.in

Abstract

The effect of tilt angle on horizontal wind estimation is studied using Indian mesosphere–stratosphere–troposphere (MST) radar located at Gadanki (13.45°N, 79.18°E). It operates in Doppler beam swinging (DBS) mode with a beamwidth of 3°. Horizontal winds are computed for different tilt angles from 3° to 15° with an increment of 3° from a height range of 3.6–18 km. The effective beam pointing angle (θeff) is calculated to determine the effect of aspect sensitivity on the determination of horizontal wind components. For different tilt angles radar-derived winds are compared with simultaneous GPS sonde wind measurements, which were launched from a nearby site. The first method utilizes direct comparison of radar-derived winds with those of GPS sondes using the actual beam pointing angle; the second method uses the effective beam pointing angle derived from the ratios of two oblique beams. For this study a variety of statistics were explored in terms of standard deviation, correlation coefficient, and percentage error. From the results it is observed that in agreement with previous studies, the effective beam pointing angle deviates from the actual beam pointing angle, which results in the underestimation of horizontal wind components, and also when tilt angle is close to zenith and far from zenith, the estimation of horizontal winds is found to be far from true values at different heights. Radar wind estimation has better agreement with GPS sonde measurement when the off-zenith angle is around 10°. It is also found that correction to the actual beam pointing angle provides 3%–6% improved agreement between the radar and GPS wind measurements.

Corresponding author address: V. K. Anandan, National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, PB. 123, Tirupati 517 502, AP, India. Email: anandanvk@narl.gov.in

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