Radar imaging with EISCAT 3D

Stamm, Johann; Vierinen, Juha; Urco, Juan M.; Gustavsson, Björn; Chau, Jorge L.

A new incoherent scatter radar called EISCAT 3D is being constructed in northern Scandinavia. It will have the capability to produce volumetric images of ionospheric plasma parameters using aperture synthesis radar imaging. This study uses the current design of EISCAT 3D to explore the theoretical radar imaging performance when imaging electron density in the E region and compares numerical techniques that could be used in practice. Of all imaging algorithms surveyed, the singular value decomposition with regularization gave the best results and was also found to be the most computationally efficient. The estimated imaging performance indicates that the radar will be capable of detecting features down to approximately inline-formula90×90inline-formulam at a height of 100 inline-formulakm, which corresponds to a inline-formula M4inlinescrollmathml normal 0.05 38pt11ptsvg-formulamathimg7b2ab9850ba1c59fd035d756f43deafe angeo-39-119-2021-ie00001.svg38pt11ptangeo-39-119-2021-ie00001.png angular resolution. The temporal resolution is dependent on the signal-to-noise ratio and range resolution. The signal-to-noise ratio calculations indicate that high-resolution imaging of auroral precipitation is feasible. For example, with a range resolution of 1500 inline-formulam, a time resolution of 10 s, and an electron density of inline-formula M6inlinescrollmathml normal 2 × normal 10 normal 11 0.125emnobreak unit normal m - normal 3 62pt14ptsvg-formulamathimged5dee517a137e9df32a206b2ea743bd angeo-39-119-2021-ie00002.svg62pt14ptangeo-39-119-2021-ie00002.png , the correlation function estimates for radar scatter from the E region can be measured with an uncertainty of 5 %. At a time resolution of 10 s and an image resolution of inline-formula90×90inline-formulam, the relative estimation error standard deviation of the image intensity is 10 %. Dividing the transmitting array into multiple independent transmitters to obtain a multiple-input–multiple-output (MIMO) interferometer system is also studied, and this technique is found to increase imaging performance through improved visibility coverage. Although this reduces the signal-to-noise ratio, MIMO has successfully been applied to image strong radar echoes as meteors and polar mesospheric summer echoes. Use of the MIMO technique for incoherent scatter radars (ISRs) should be investigated further.

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Stamm, Johann / Vierinen, Juha / Urco, Juan M. / et al: Radar imaging with EISCAT 3D. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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