214 W-Band and X-Band Radar Radiometer for All Weather Studies of Total Atmospheric Attenuation

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Zurich DEFG (Swissotel Chicago)
Ivan PopStefanija, ProSensing Inc., Amherst, MA; and J. B. Mead and A. L. Pazmany

ProSensing has developed a transportable W- and X-band Radar/Radiometer (WAXRR) system comprised of a solid-state W-band radar/radiometer and a solid-state X-band radar. This multi-instrument solution will be used to measure the total atmospheric attenuation experienced at 78 GHz. The purpose of these measurements is to generate long-term statistics of total atmospheric path loss for different climates and geographical locations. These statistics will support the design of satellite communications systems operating in the band between 71-86 GHz.

The WAXRR measurement methodology is to combine a W-band radiometer with dual-frequency radar operating at X-Band and W-band. The radiometer works best under clear-air conditions, or with clouds of low reflectivity, where the radiometer signal is not saturated. For weather conditions involving clouds and rain with readily detectable reflected signals, the dual-frequency radar can make a direct measurement of total W-band attenuation by comparing the differential reflectivity from above the attenuating liquid layer. The combined radiometer/dual radar system will have a dynamic range exceeding 20 dB, which is sufficient to estimate path loss under all expected atmospheric conditions.

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