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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-57
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-57
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 04 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

An Extended Radar Relative Calibration Adjustment (eRCA) Technique for Higher Frequency Radars and RHI Scans

Alexis Hunzinger, Joseph C. Hardin, Nitin Bharadwaj, Adam Varble, and Alyssa Matthews Alexis Hunzinger et al.
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA

Abstract. This study extends the relative calibration adjustment technique for calibration of weather radars to higher frequency radars, as well as range-height indicator scans. The calibration of weather radars represents one of the most dominant sources of error for their use in a variety of fields including quantitative precipitation estimation and model comparisons. While most weather radars are routinely calibrated, the frequency of calibration is often less than required resulting in miscalibrated time periods. While full absolute calibration techniques often require the radar to be taken offline for a period of time, there have been online calibration techniques discussed in the literature. The relative calibration adjustment (RCA) technique uses the statistics of the ground clutter surrounding the radar as a monitoring source for the stability of calibration but has only been demonstrated to work at S- and C-Band for plan-position indicator scans at a constant elevation.

In this work the RCA technique is modified to work with higher frequency radars, including Ka-band cloud radars. At higher frequencies the properties of clutter can be much more variable. This work introduces an extended clutter selection procedure that incorporates the temporal stability of clutter and helps to improve the operational stability of RCA for relatively higher frequency radars. The technique is also extended to utilize range-height scans from radars where the elevation is varied rather than the azimuth. These types of scans are often utilized with research radars to examine the vertical structure of clouds.

The newly extended technique (eRCA) is applied to four DOE-ARM weather radars ranging in frequency from C- to Ka- band. Cross comparisons of three co-located radars with frequencies C, X, and Ka at the ARM CACTI site show the technique can determine changes in calibration. Using an X-band radar at the ARM Eastern North Atlantic site, we show how the technique can be modified to be more resilient to clutter fields that show an increased variability, in this case due to sea clutter. The results show that this technique is promising for a-posteriori data calibration and monitoring.

Alexis Hunzinger et al.

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Alexis Hunzinger et al.

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Latest update: 05 Apr 2020
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Short summary
The calibration of weather radars is one of the most dominant sources of errors hindering their use. This work takes a technique for tracking the changes in radar calibration using the radar clutter from the ground, and extends it to higher frequency research radars. It demonstrates that after modifications the technique is successful, but that special care needs to be taken in its application at high frequencies. The technique is verified using data from multiple DOE-ARM field campaigns.
The calibration of weather radars is one of the most dominant sources of errors hindering their...
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