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

Friday, 8 August 2003
A solar alignment technique for determining mobile radar pointing angles
Nettie R. Arnott, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; and Y. P. Richardson, J. M. Wurman, and J. Lutz
Poster PDF (73.9 kB)
During May and June, 2002, the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) mobile radars participated in the International H2O Project (IHOP). Data were collected during convection initiation, quiescent boundary layer, and boundary layer evolution missions. The DOW radars record data in truck relative coordinates such that zero degrees refers to the front of the truck. For most data interpretation, including dual-Doppler syntheses, the data must be re-oriented so that zero degrees consistently points in the same direction (i.e. north) for all radars. To date, this reorientation has involved matching known tower locations to ground clutter or matching significant weather features observed by two or more mobile radars.

During IHOP, a technique for determining the DOW radar heading (called a solar calibration) was implemented which involved recording a PPI scan of the sun. The DOW radar heading is determined by comparing the radar observed sun azimuth to the actual sun azimuth with respect to true north. This presentation will discuss the solar calibration method for determining a mobile radar pointing angle. Examples of solar calibrations from IHOP will be presented.

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