Correcting for mobile X-band weather radar tilt using solar interference

Dufton, David; Bennett, Lindsay; Wallbank, John R. ORCID:; Neely III, Ryan R.. 2023 Correcting for mobile X-band weather radar tilt using solar interference. Remote Sensing, 15 (24), 5637. 22, pp.

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Precise knowledge of the antenna pointing direction is a key facet to ensure the accuracy of observations from scanning weather radars. The sun is an often-used reference point to aid accurate alignment of weather radar systems and is particularly useful when observed as interference during normal scanning operations. In this study, we combine two online solar interference approaches to determine the pointing accuracy of an X-band mobile weather radar system deployed for 26 months in northern England (54.517°N, 3.615°W). During the deployment, several shifts in the tilt of the radar system are diagnosed between site visits. One extended period of time (>11 months) is shown to have a changing tilt that is independent of human intervention. To verify the corrections derived from this combined approach, quantitative precipitation estimates (QPEs) from the radar system are compared to surface observations: an approach that takes advantage of the variations in the magnitude of partial beam blockage corrections required due to tilting of the radar system close to mountainous terrain. The observed improvements in QPE performance after correction support the use of the derived tilt corrections for further applications using the corrected dataset. Finally, recommendations for future deployments are made, with particular focus on higher latitudes where solar interference spikes show more seasonality than those at mid-latitudes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2072-4292
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: antenna pointing, solar monitoring, pedestal tilt, weather radar, X-band
NORA Subject Terms: Electronics, Engineering and Technology
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 20 Dec 2023 09:37 +0 (UTC)

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