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

Wednesday, 6 August 2003: 9:20 AM
Measured anomalous radar propagation and ocean backscatter in the Virginia coastal region
Janet Stapleton, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA; and V. R. Wiss and R. E. Marshall
Poster PDF (1.7 MB)
In the spring of 2000, an experiment was conducted at Wallops Island, VA aimed at simultaneously characterizing low altitude microwave propagation and radar surface backscatter. These experiments were sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and have been referred to as Wallops 2000 in several previous presentations of associated results.

During these experiments, comprehensive measurements of meteorological parameters were used to capture the near surface refractivity. Data was collected via several sensor systems, which allowed the estimation of evaporation ducts and profiles for surface based ducts and subrefractive layers. The sensor systems included the Naval Postgraduate Schoolís Flux buoy, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory helicopter sounding system, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Divisionís bulk meteorological sensor system and rocket sonde measurement system.

In addition to the near surface refractivity characterization, simultaneous measurements of the one-way propagation loss versus range and altitude were made using a calibrated system of transmitters (aboard a boat) and receivers (located on shore). These measurements included simultaneous coverage of propagation loss for S, C, and X band frequencies.

Throughout the experiments, radar surface clutter was measured using two radar systems as well. The AN/SPY-1A radar at the Wallops Island Surface Combat Systems Center, and the SPANDAR atmospheric research radar also at Wallops Island under NASA support services were both used to collect simultaneous radar returns.

The composite of these data sources has proven unique and insightful for analyzing the temporal and spatial variability of low angle radar performance characteristics and the associated coastal meteorological processes.

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