RAL 78GHz cloud radar
1998-2004 the cloud radar was located at Chilbolton Facility for the CLOUDMAP project.
A frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) 78 GHz cloud radar, designed by the Millimetre-Wave Technology (MMT) group of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), began operations at the MST radar site on 14th April 2005.
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More Information (under review)
Cloud radars typically transmit pulsed signals (in the same way as the MST radar) and determine the range of targets from the delay between the transmission and reception of a pulse. Owing to the relatively high peak transmitted powers (~ 1 kW), they rely on expensive vacuum valves, which are prone to degradation over time scales of 1 - 2 years. An alternative technique is to "chirp" the signal, i.e. to linearly sweep the transmitter frequency, and to determine the range of a target from the frequency difference between the transmitter and receiver signals. Since signals are transmitted for a much longer period than in the case of pulsed radar (there are still gaps between chirps), detectable return signals can be achieved with a much lower peak transmitter power (200 mW in the case of the RAL radar). This means that FMCW radars can be designed around lower-cost and more-reliable solid-state components.
|Link to RAL Cloud Radar page on MST site|