Calibration of a Weather Radar by Using a Standard Target

View More View Less
  • 1 Imperial College Field Station, England
© Get Permissions
Full access

A simple method is described for calibrating a weather radar by means of a standard spherical target, thus permitting the radar to be used for quantitative measurements of storm reflectivity. The technique involves determination of that storm reflectivity which provides an echo equivalent to that from the known target. The sphere, suspended from a balloon, is tracked as it leaves the radar site. Its echo is “measured” by reducing the receiver gain control to the threshold of visibility. The threshold gain setting is thereby calibrated and subsequently provides an accurate measure of storm reflectivity. There is no need for any other test equipment such as a microwave-signal generator. Absolute accuracy is greater than that attainable with a signal generator since no reliance need be placed on the generator calibration or upon the specified antenna gain.

1 National Science Foundation Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow on detached duty from the Geophysics Research Directorate, Air Force Cambridge Research Center, Bedford, Mass.

2 On detached duty from C.S.I.R., Pretoria, South Africa.

A simple method is described for calibrating a weather radar by means of a standard spherical target, thus permitting the radar to be used for quantitative measurements of storm reflectivity. The technique involves determination of that storm reflectivity which provides an echo equivalent to that from the known target. The sphere, suspended from a balloon, is tracked as it leaves the radar site. Its echo is “measured” by reducing the receiver gain control to the threshold of visibility. The threshold gain setting is thereby calibrated and subsequently provides an accurate measure of storm reflectivity. There is no need for any other test equipment such as a microwave-signal generator. Absolute accuracy is greater than that attainable with a signal generator since no reliance need be placed on the generator calibration or upon the specified antenna gain.

1 National Science Foundation Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow on detached duty from the Geophysics Research Directorate, Air Force Cambridge Research Center, Bedford, Mass.

2 On detached duty from C.S.I.R., Pretoria, South Africa.

Save