Mispointing characterization and Doppler velocity correction for the conically scanning WIVERN Doppler radar

Scarsi, Filippo Emilio; Battaglia, Alessandro; Tridon, Frederic; Martire, Paolo; Dhillon, Ranvir; Illingworth, Anthony

Global measurements of horizontal winds in cloud and precipitation systems represent a gap in the global observation system. The Wind Velocity Radar Nephoscope (WIVERN) mission, one of the two candidates to be the ESA's Earth Explorer 11 mission, aims at filling this gap based on a conically scanning W-band Doppler radar instrument. The determination of the antenna boresight mispointing angles and the impact of their uncertainty on the line of sight Doppler velocities is critical to achieve the mission requirements. While substantial industrial efforts are on their way to achieving accurate determination of the pointing, alternative (external) calibration approaches are currently under scrutiny. The correction of the line of sight Doppler velocity error introduced by the mispointing only needs knowledge of such mispointing angles and does not need the correction of the mispointing itself. Thus, this work discusses four methods applicable to the WIVERN radar that can be used at different timescales to characterize the antenna mispointing both in the azimuthal and in the elevation directions and to correct the error in the Doppler velocity induced by such mispointing.

Results show that elevation mispointing is well corrected at very short timescales by monitoring the range at which the surface peak occurs. Azimuthal mispointing is harder but can be tackled by using the expected profiles of the non-moving surface Doppler velocity. Biases in pointing at longer timescales can be monitored by using a well-established reference database (e.g. ECMWF reanalysis) or ad-hoc ground-based calibrators.

Although tailored to the WIVERN mission, the proposed methodologies can be extended to other Doppler concepts featuring conically scanning or slant viewing Doppler systems.

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Scarsi, Filippo Emilio / Battaglia, Alessandro / Tridon, Frederic / et al: Mispointing characterization and Doppler velocity correction for the conically scanning WIVERN Doppler radar. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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