Using the Sun to check some weather radar parameters

Typ: Rapport
Serie: RMK 93
Författare: Andersson, T


Precipitation rnonitoring is a rnain task for weather radar applications. In quantitative applications, as estirnation of the rain rate, the fundamental quantity is the rneasurernent of the intensity of the retum signal strength, giving the so called reflectivity factor, or reflectivity, which is the rnain parameter for those estirnates. The calibration of weather radars for this purpose has been a rnain task in radar rneteorology since the first atternpts of estirnating rain rates in the early 1950ies. In spite of this there is still no intemational accepted procedure for this calibration and each rnanufacturer has his own calibration scherne.

There is evidently a need fora target to calibrate against, which is cornrnon for all radars and easily accessible. This points towards astronornical targets. The rnoon is such a possible target, though the echo from it is too weak for routine calibrations. The sun ernits radiation in the radar frequencies. These signals are already widely used to deterrnine the orientation of the antenna (azirnuth and elevation angle ). The intensity of the radiation in these frequencies is not constant, but is rneasured by sorne observatories and rnay be used as a calibration source.

The present work is an atternpt to design a calibration or checking procedure that can be used when the radar is working operatively.