Calibrating EPFL’s solid state radar

In a couple of months from now, scientists of EPFL’s Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory head off to Antarctica to deploy a series of remote sensing and in-situ instruments in the framework of the international AWACA project. One of the key observation platforms is the newly acquired dual-polarization solid-state X-band radar, which will provide insight into Antarctica’s yet unresolved precipitation processes.

Since repair and maintenance possibilities are limited in Antarctica, the radar underwent rigorous testing and calibration. The Palindrome target simulator provided a series of virtual polarimetric calibration targets in order to verify the radar’s accuracy.

EPFL's X-band radar in front of the Rolex Learning Center.
Matched filter curve derived from virtual targets that were generated at varying distances.
Differential reflectivity of the virtual target as measured with the radar.