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Side view of the 20-inch HIAPER wing pod showing the layout of the radar electronics. The front of the pod is on the left hand side of the figure. The reflector plate is positioned such that the beam clears the leading edge of the wing when pointing toward zenith.


Basic Overview


The HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR) is an airborne millimeter- wavelength radar that serves the atmospheric science commu- nity by providing remote sensing capabilities to the NSF/NCAR HIAPER aircraft. The HCR was designed in the mid-2000s after a survey of contemporary radar technology indicated to scien- tists that the envelope of airborne radar systems needed expand- ing to deliver high spatial and temporal resolution observations with improved accuracy in comparison to existing radars.


The HCR can be housed in the aircraft’s 20-inch-diameter wing pod, and is capable of estimating winds and microphys- ics over a 15-kilometer radius with 40-meter gate spacing. The HCR can be operated in scanning and staring modes for detecting cloud boundaries and cloud liquid and ice, and also for estimating radial winds. In its final configuration, the HCR will have Doppler, polarimetric and dual-wavelength capa- bilities with a beam scanning option. When the radar is not deployed on the airborne platform, it will be operated in a ground-based configuration.


Typical Research Applications


This millimeter wave radar is capable of measuring both spectral moments and the polari- metric scattering matrix with sufficient sensitivity and accuracy to be useful in the study of cloud microphysics. Part of the motivation for its design was the high priority for cloud remote sensing missions in the atmospheric research community.


Contact


RSF Manager Dr. Wen-Chau Lee wenchau@ucar.edu 303.497.8814


HCR Lead Scientist Dr. Jothiram Vivekanandan vivek@ucar.edu 303.497.8402


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