Pulse Cloud Radar

|| MIRA36 Meteorological Ka-Band Cloud RADAR

General

MIRA36-2009 is a magnetron based pulsed Ka-Band Doppler radar for unattended long term observation of atmospheric clouds.

In its standard configuration linear polarized signal is transmitted while co and cross polarized signals are received simultaneously to detect Doppler spectra of the reflectivity and Linear De-polarization Ratio (LDR). The reflectivity is used to determine the density of cloud constituents while LDR helps to identify the target type. Different configurations for measuring other polarization variables, as e.g. the differential reflectivity or phase can be developed on request.

MIRA36-2009 is usually installed with a vertically pointing antenna for measuring profiles from 150 m above ground to the 15 km (above 15 km no signals are observed).

Alternatively a scanning version of MIRA36-2009 is available where the transmitter, the receiver, and the PC are installed together with the antenna on a scanning pedestal see The total weight of the Positioner including the Antenna and the radar components is 370 kg. It can be mounted on top of a trailer. In this case the trailer hosts the air conditioning for the radar, the UPS, an additional PC for operating the radar, and the waveguide drying system.

Vertically pointing MIRA36-2009 mounted inside a trailer. The components are mounted in a 19” rack. From top to bottom: Receiver, transmitter, PC including DSP, Console, UPS, Waveguide drying unit. The Antenna (not visible on this picture) is mounted on the trailer roof.
Vertically pointing MIRA36-2009 mounted inside a trailer. The components are mounted in a 19” rack. From top to bottom: Receiver, transmitter, PC including DSP, Console, UPS, Waveguide drying unit. The Antenna (not visible on this picture) is mounted on the trailer roof.

Screen shot of the data client. 

a) Profiles of SNR [dB], (x-axis = height [km], red: copolar, blue: cross-polar); 

A) SNR height-time display, (x-axis = time before “now” [s], y-axis = height [km]); 

b) Profile of vertical velocity [m/s]; 

B) Velocity height-time display; 

c) Co-pol Doppler spectrum [dB] of range indicated by dotted line in a (x-axis: velocity [m/s]); 

C) Timevelocity display of the spectrum shown in a, (y-axis: time before “now” [s]); 

d) Profile of LDR [dB]; 

D) LDR height-time display, (x-axis: time before “now” [s], y-axis: range km]);

|| Vertically pointing Cloud Radar MIRA-10 ( X-band Vertical Cloud Radar )

- Long term observation of clouds and rain

- Profiles of doppler spectra with high resolution up to 4096 FFT-points excellent quality of spectra ( 70dB in-spectrum dynamic range)

- Derivation of mean velocity an spectral width, and skewness

- Very high time resolution (>0.1 seconds)

- Solid-state amplifier operating in pulse-mode 800 W peak power) or pulse-compression mode (averaged power up to 50 W)

- Vertical pointing antenna with 45dBi gain and 2,40m antenna diameter

- Sensitivity pulse mode: -23,8dBz (at 5km height, 2 seconds averaging, 30m range resolution), by pulse compression mode up to 11dB mor sensitivity can be achieved

- Range resolution: pulse mode: 15-60m (100-400ns pulse length) pulse compression mode: 5-36m (<5μs pulse length)

- Possibility to save IQ-data

|| Cloud Radar MIRA-35C ( Compact Vertical Pointing Cloud Radar )

- Very compact tropospheric profiler for cloud observation

- Characterization of cloud particles by dual polarization

- Profiles of Doppler spectra and reflectivity

- Derivation of mean velocity and spectral width

- Very fine Doppler resolution

- Up to 800 range gates

- Very high time resolution

- Reduced power consumption allows easy stand alone installation

MIRA-35C is a compact and very price competitive alternative to Metek’s classical MIRA-35 as a limited reduction of sensitivity with respect to MIRA-35 is acceptable for most investigations of cloud structures, for example for cloud seeding and climatological studies.

The radar electronic is accommodated in a hermetically sealed box, making handling, installation and operation as convenient as possible The size of the complete radar is mostly dominated by the selected sizes of the Cassegrain antenna which are offered as 50 cm and 100 cm parabolic versions.

Due to the adapted transmit power, the MIRA 35-C does not require air conditioning and waveguide pressurization, reducing efforts for installation, operation and maintenance.

Transmit frequency34.8GHz … 35.2 GHz, 35.2 GHz recommended by ECC
Peak power / average power3 kW / 3 W
Sensitivity-53 dBZ (1 km range, 30 m range resolution and 10 s time resolution, 100 cm antenna)
Min. measuring range100 m
Max. number of gates800 (eachin phase and quadrature phase)
Min. time resolution0.1 s
Beam width1° with 50 cm and 0.6° with 100 cm antenna
Antenna diameter50 cm, 100 cm
Pulse width / range resolution100 … 400 ns / 15 … 60 m
Pulse repetition frequency2.5 … 10 kHz
Velocity resolution5 cm/s
Polarization parameters

Linear polarization on transmission , co and cross polarized signals are received simultaneously.

LDR and co cross correlation can be computed.

Dimensions of the radar electronicsL·W·H = 43 cm · 46 cm · 31 cm
Power consumption depending on the duty cycle

Radar: 100 … 120 W

PC + accessories : 75 … 120 W

|| Cloud Radar MIRA-35 ( Vertical and Sacnning Cloud Radar )

- Tropospheric profiler for long term observation of clouds

- Full hemisphere scanning option for 3-dimensional imaging of clouds structures

- Profiles of Doppler spectra and reflectivity

- Very fine Doppler resolution (5 cm/s)

- Derivation of mean velocity and spectral width

- Characterization of cloud particles by dual-polarization parameters

- Up to 1000 range gates

- Very high time resolution (> 0.1 seconds)

Typical Applications

- Research in meteorology

- Meteorological networks

- Wake vortex monitoring

- Research stations

- Icing hazard detection

- Industrial sites

- Cloud particle characterization

- Airports

- Eddy correlation fluxes

- Marine and offshore platforms

- Wind shear detection

- Wind energy

- Synergy with other remote sensing instruments 

- input for weather prediction

- Sport events

- Fog detection and nowcasting


MIRA-35 is a Ka-Band Doppler radar with high sensitivity allowing to observe even light clouds. It is designed for unattended long-term operation. MIRA-35-S is mounted on a pedestal allowing elevation and azimuth scanning within zenith angles from -90 to +90° and azimuth angles from 0 to 360° (continuous rotations).

Transmit frequency33 – 37 GHz, 35.2 GHz recommended by ECC
Peak power / average power30 kW / 30 – 60 W
Sensitivity- 53 dBZ (5 km range, 30 m range resolution and 10s time resolution, 1m antenna)
Max. Measuring Range
Depending on pulse width and PRF up to 60 km
Min. Measuring Range
150 m full sensitivity above 450 m
Max. number of gates1000
Min. time resolution0.1 s
Beam width0.5° with 1 m and 0.3 with 2 m antenna
Antenna diameter50 cm, 100 cm1 m, 1.2 m, or 2 m
Pulse width100 – 400 ns
Pulse repetition frequency2.5 to 10 kHz
Velocity resolution5 cm/s
Polarization parameters

Linear polarization on transmit, co and cross polarized signals are received simultaneously.

LDR, and co-cross-correlation can be computed.

Alternatively STAR mode can be provided.

Dimensions of the radar electronicsTransmitter 19" Chassis 9 U, Receiver 4 U, PC 4 U (depth of all units 530 mm).
Power consumption depending on the duty cycle

Radar: 950 W at 1/500

600 W at 1/1000

PC+DSP 150 W

Air Conditioning 800 W for the vertically viewing and 1.6 kW for the scanning system.