Validation of a new signal processing scheme for the MST radar at Aberystwyth
- 1Space Science and Technology Department, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, OX11 0QX, UK
- 2Observations Division – Upper Air Team, Met Office, EX1 3PB, UK
Abstract. This paper describes a new signal processing scheme for the 46.5 MHz Doppler Beam Swinging wind-profiling radar at Aberystwyth, in the UK. Although the techniques used are similar to those already described in literature – i.e. the identification of multiple signal components within each spectrum and the use of radial- and time-continuity algorithms for quality-control purposes – it is shown that they must be adapted for the specific meteorological environment above Aberystwyth. In particular they need to take into account the three primary causes of unwanted signals: ground clutter, interference, and Rayleigh scatter from hydrometeors under stratiform precipitation conditions. Attention is also paid to the fact that short-period gravity-wave activity can lead to an invalidation of the fundamental assumption of the wind field remaining stationary over the temporal and spatial scales encompassed by a cycle of observation. Methods of identifying and accounting for such conditions are described. The random measurement error associated with horizontal wind components is estimated to be 3.0–4.0 m s−1 for single cycle data. This reduces to 2.0–3.0 m s−1 for data averaged over 30 min. The random measurement error associated with vertical wind components is estimated to be 0.2–0.3 m s−1. This cannot be reduced by time-averaging as significant natural variability is expected over intervals of just a few minutes under conditions of short-period gravity-wave activity.