Weather radar

In the past few years, we have designed and operated a 38GHz spatial interferometer system, which was built by the Centre for RF Propagation and Atmospheric Research at QinetiQ Malvern.  This system monitors the propagation along a line-of-sight to a 38GHz beacon located on Craigowl Hill, 26km to the north of Dundee.  The east coats of Scotland is a region well known for anomalously large attenuation at this frequency which occur during periods of wintry weather and are particularly associated with sleet.  The Radiocommunications Agency, now Ofcom, sponsored this research to better understand propagation at this frequency which is used by many mobile telephone operators for their basestation-to-basestation links.

In parallel with the 38GHz experiments, we are proud to host the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory’s experimental weather radar system.  Built by the Radio Communications Research Unit at RAL, this is a 3GHz pulsed radar system used to monitor precipitation over several basestation link sites in the north east Fife and Dundee area. The picture below shows the RAL radar system together with our 3 port interferometer (the three receivers are protected by the red, white and blue covers, which are transparent at 38GHz).



The combination of data from both these experiments should lead to a far better understanding of 38GHz propagation effects, and ultimately will allow telecom operators to provide a more reliable service, particularly in the winter.