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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1185; doi:10.3390/s17051185

Dual-Polarization Observations of Slowly Varying Solar Emissions from a Mobile X-Band Radar

MeteoSwiss, via ai Monti 146, Locarno-Monti CH-6605, Switzerland
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Academic Editor: Jonathan Li
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
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Abstract

The radio noise that comes from the Sun has been reported in literature as a reference signal to check the quality of dual-polarization weather radar receivers for the S-band and C-band. In most cases, the focus was on relative calibration: horizontal and vertical polarizations were evaluated versus the reference signal mainly in terms of standard deviation of the difference. This means that the investigated radar receivers were able to reproduce the slowly varying component of the microwave signal emitted by the Sun. A novel method, aimed at the absolute calibration of dual-polarization receivers, has recently been presented and applied for the C-band. This method requires the antenna beam axis to be pointed towards the center of the Sun for less than a minute. Standard deviations of the difference as low as 0.1 dB have been found for the Swiss radars. As far as the absolute calibration is concerned, the average differences were of the order of −0.6 dB (after noise subtraction). The method has been implemented on a mobile, X-band radar, and this paper presents the successful results that were obtained during the 2016 field campaign in Payerne (Switzerland). Despite a relatively poor Sun-to-Noise ratio, the “small” (~0.4 dB) amplitude of the slowly varying emission was captured and reproduced; the standard deviation of the difference between the radar and the reference was ~0.2 dB. The absolute calibration of the vertical and horizontal receivers was satisfactory. After the noise subtraction and atmospheric correction a, the mean difference was close to 0 dB. View Full-Text
Keywords: meteorological radar receiver; absolute calibration; dual-polarization; solar radio noise; antenna gain (with radome); slowly varying component of the solar emission at 3.2 cm meteorological radar receiver; absolute calibration; dual-polarization; solar radio noise; antenna gain (with radome); slowly varying component of the solar emission at 3.2 cm
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gabella, M.; Leuenberger, A. Dual-Polarization Observations of Slowly Varying Solar Emissions from a Mobile X-Band Radar. Sensors 2017, 17, 1185.

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