Dual-polarization meteorological radar: theory and design

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


An improved formulation for radar backscatter from a volume of oblate spheroidal raindrops is developed, taking account of the beam elevation angle and the raindrop canting angle. The formulation is in terms of scattering coefficients in a matrix, and can be applied to systems using linear, circular, or elliptical polarization. The general formulation reduces to results previously published in the literature for linear polarization differential reflectivity (ZDR) and for circular polarization depolarization ratio ( CDR).

Analysis of the linear polarization case for a dual-polarization radar which can transmit and receive orthogonal linear polarizations in the horizontal-vertical (HV) planes, and the (±45) degree planes are considered. Results are presented showing the effect raindrop parameters have on Z , and linear polarization ratio (LDR) measured in (HV) and (±45°) planes. Analysis of the circular polarization case for a dual polarization radar which can transmit and receive circular polarizations is also considered. Results show that LDR measured in the (±45°) planes is similar to CDR.

The dual-polarized radar development program at VPI&SU was discussed and a detailed design of a new radar data collection system is given.

With the theory of dual-polarization radar measurement and the practical implementation of such a radar described within this thesis, a more accurate characterization of the propagation effects along a satellite to earth path can be carried out.