Capability of Surface-Based Clear-Air Doppler Radar for Monitoring Meteorological Structure of Elevated Layers

Earl E. Gossard CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309

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Russell B. Chadwick NOAA/ERL/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80303

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Thomas R. Detman NOAA/ERL/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80303

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John Gaynor NOAA/ERL/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80303

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Abstract

Radars and acoustic sounding systems sense properties of the turbulence structure of the atmosphere. If atmospheric turbulence can be related to the mean gradient parameters, Doppler radars and acoustic sounders can provide information about height profiles of quantities such as temperature and refractive index as well as wind in stable regions of the atmosphere. In this paper turbulent and mean quantities were measured on the 300 m meteorological tower at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory near Erie, Colorado, and the relationships between the turbulent and mean gradient quantities were examined in order to evaluate hypotheses for simplifying the kinetic energy balance and refractive index variance equations. FM-CW radar measurements of backscattered power and Doppler spectral width were also made for comparison with tower-measured refractive index spectra and Doppler velocity spectra. Height distributions of the turbulent dissipation rate within stable layers are shown and viscous cutoff radar wavelengths calculated.

Abstract

Radars and acoustic sounding systems sense properties of the turbulence structure of the atmosphere. If atmospheric turbulence can be related to the mean gradient parameters, Doppler radars and acoustic sounders can provide information about height profiles of quantities such as temperature and refractive index as well as wind in stable regions of the atmosphere. In this paper turbulent and mean quantities were measured on the 300 m meteorological tower at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory near Erie, Colorado, and the relationships between the turbulent and mean gradient quantities were examined in order to evaluate hypotheses for simplifying the kinetic energy balance and refractive index variance equations. FM-CW radar measurements of backscattered power and Doppler spectral width were also made for comparison with tower-measured refractive index spectra and Doppler velocity spectra. Height distributions of the turbulent dissipation rate within stable layers are shown and viscous cutoff radar wavelengths calculated.

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