32nd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology/31st Conference on Radar Meteorology/Fifth Conference on Coastal Atmospheric and Oceanic Prediction and Processes

Friday, 8 August 2003
Calibration efforts at Camagüey MRL-5 radar station
Orlando L. Rodríguez, Centro Meteorologico de Camaguey, Camaguey, Cuba; and L. L. Fernández, A. A. Pena, R. A. Naranjo, M. A. Perez, A. Barreiras, and W. J. Pozas
Poster PDF (127.7 kB)
The Technical Development Laboratory at Camagüey has reengineered three of the four MRL-5 radars operated by the Cuban Institute of Meteorology. At the beginning of 2002, the laboratory initiated a new project aimed to improve the data quality from such automated radars. The objective is to use MRL-5 radars for accurate precipitation measurements. Besides, Camagüey radar is intended to be used for research and validation purposes in the tropical atmosphere.

The MRL-5 is a dual-wavelength radar with two transmitters, two receivers and two sets of wave-guides. However, both channels of the radar (X- and S-band) share the same antenna and rotary joints. The antenna system can be arranged in two separate configurations, which generate two different sets of beam-widths. This paper deals with the preliminary efforts carried out at the MRL-5 radar station in Camagüey.

First, a known signal from an RF generator was injected at different points in the microwave path, including the antenna feed horn. This step permitted the determination of the receiver response and its dynamic range as well as wave-guide circuit loses in receiving mode. Averaged transmitted power was measured at the magnetron output and also at the feed horn, using the manufacturer’s waveguide section with inserted thermopairs. This way, transmission loses were also obtained.

Second, a point transmitter was placed four kilometers away from the station and used to obtain the antenna beam pattern of the radar. This method was applied to the two antenna configurations of the MRL-5.

Finally, the radar antenna was pointed in the direction of a tall chimney located 65 kilometers north of the station. In this way, a precise alignment of the two MRL-5 antenna beams was attained for both antenna configurations.

The results obtained with these methods are carefully described in the paper.

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