A bistatic dual-Doppler weather radar network consisting of only one transmitter and a nontransmitting, nonscanning, low-cost bistatic receiver was deployed in the Boulder, Colorado, area during 1993.

The Boulder network took data in a variety of weather situations, including low-reflectivity stratiform snowfall, several convective cells, and a hailstorm. Dual-Doppler vector wind fields were retrieved and compared to those from a traditional, two-transmitter dual-Doppler network. The favorable results from these comparisons indicate that the bistatic dual-Doppler technique is viable and practical.

Bistatic multiple-Doppler networks have significant scientific and economic advantages accruing from the use of only single sources of illumination. Individual spatial volumes are viewed simultaneously from multiple look angles, minimizing storm evolution–induced errors. The passive receivers in a bistatic network do not require expensive transmitters, moving antenna hardware, or operators. Thus, they require only a small percentage of the investment needed to field traditional transmitting radars.

Bistatic systems can be deployed affordably to provide three-dimensional fields of full-vector winds, including directly measured vertical precipitation particle velocities for numerous applications in meteorological research, aviation, forecasting, media, and education.

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Footnotes

*The National Center for Atmospheric Research is operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.