Aspect sensitivity in the VHF radar backscatters studied using simultaneous observations of Gadanki MST radar and GPS sonde
- National MST Radar Facility, P. B. 123, Tirupati 517502, A. P., India
Abstract. Simultaneous observations made on four days using the MST radar and GPS-sonde at Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E), a tropical station in India, are presented to address the aspect sensitivity of radar backscatters observed at different heights. The observations show that wherever stability parameter N2 is high, vertical shear of horizontal wind is low and Richardson number (Ri) is high, the aspect sensitivity is high indicating that the aspect sensitive radar backscatters are due to thermal structures in the atmosphere. Such a case can be seen very clearly in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. At some heights, where N2 is high, Ri is high, but shears are relatively weak, the aspect sensitivity is found to almost disappear, indicating that some amount of shear provides favorable conditions for causing aspect sensitivity. Aspect sensitivity does not occur at all where N2 is low or negative and Ri is low in spite of wind shear being either high or low, indicating that the regions are well mixed and hence turbulent. The study also shows a power difference in the symmetric beams. A case study on this aspect suggests that this asymmetry is due to the tilting of layers by the action of atmospheric waves. There is indication that these waves are generated through Kelvin-Helmholtz-instability (KHI).