Improved Polarimetric Calibration for Atmospheric Radars

Dmitri N. Moisseev, Christine M. H. Unal, Herman W. J. Russchenberg, Leo P. Ligthart
2002 Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology  
Polarization properties of radar waves that are scattered from atmospheric objects are of great interest in meteorological studies. However, polarimetric radar measurements are often not sufficiently accurate for retrieving physical properties of targets. To compensate for errors, radar polarimetric calibration is applied. Typical calibrations are performed based on measurements of point targets with known scattering matrices located in the boresight of the antenna. Such calibration takes into
more » ... bration takes into account the polarization state of the antenna pattern only at one point. Since radar measurements of atmospheric phenomena involve distributed targets that fill the full antenna beam, point target radar calibrations are inadequate for meteorological studies. This paper explains in detail the effects of the complete antenna patterns on weather echoes. It is shown that the conventional polarimetric calibration can be significantly improved by incorporating light-rain (Ͻ20 dBZ ) zenith-pointing measurements into the calibration procedure. As a result, the sensitivity of cross-polar measurements can be improved by 7 dB on average. Also it is shown that the bias in co-cross-polar correlation coefficient can be reduced.
doi:10.1175/1520-0426(2002)019<1968:ipcfar>;2 fatcat:qt42bgplqbedzfeakgzxdrci2a