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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 17, 1116–1119, 1999
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-999-1116-z
© European Geosciences Union 1999
Ann. Geophys., 17, 1116–1119, 1999
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-999-1116-z
© European Geosciences Union 1999

  31 Aug 1999

31 Aug 1999

Letter to the Editor: Complete maps of the aspect sensitivity of VHF atmospheric radar echoes

R. M. Worthington1, R. D. Palmer2, and S. Fukao3 R. M. Worthington et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
  • 2Department of Electrical Engineering, Center for Electro-Optics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA
  • 3Radio Atmospheric Science Center, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Abstract. Using the MU radar at Shigaraki, Japan (34.85°N, 136.10°E), we measure the power distribution pattern of VHF radar echoes from the mid-troposphere. The large number of radar beam-pointing directions (320) allows the mapping of echo power from 0° to 40° from zenith, and also the dependence on azimuth, which has not been achieved before at VHF wavelengths. The results show how vertical shear of the horizontal wind is associated with a definite skewing of the VHF echo power distribution, for beam angles as far as 30° or more from zenith, so that aspect sensitivity cannot be assumed negligible at any beam-pointing angle that most existing VHF radars are able to use. Consequently, the use of VHF echo power to calculate intensity of atmospheric turbulence, which assumes only isotropic backscatter at large beam zenith angles, will sometimes not be valid.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (middle atmosphere dynamics; turbulence; instruments and techniques)

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