Articles | Volume 30, issue 10
Regular paper
24 Oct 2012
Regular paper |  | 24 Oct 2012

High-precision measurement of satellite velocity using the EISCAT radar

T. Nygrén, J. Markkanen, A. Aikio, and M. Voiculescu

Abstract. This paper presents a method of measuring the velocity of a hard target using radar pulses reflected from the target flying through the radar beam. The method has two stages. First, the Doppler shifts of the echo pulses are calculated at a high accuracy with an algorithm which largely improves the accuracy given by the Fourier transform. The algorithm also calculates the standard deviations of the Doppler frequencies with Monte Carlo simulation. The second step is to fit the results from a sequence of radar pulses to a velocity model allowing linear variation of the second time derivative of target range. The achieved accuracies are demonstrated using radio pulses reflected by a satellite passing through the beam of the EISCAT UHF radar working at 930-MHz frequency. At high SNR levels, the standard deviations of the frequency from a single pulse reach typically down to 0.2 Hz. The best standard deviations of velocity fit are below 5 mm s−1 while those of the second time derivative of range are below 1 cm s−2.