VHF antenna pattern characterization by the observation of meteor head echoes
- Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Schloss-Str. 6, 18225 Kuehlungsborn, Germany
Abstract. The Middle Atmosphere Alomar Radar System (MAARSY) with its active phased array antenna is designed and used for studies of phenomena in the mesosphere and lower atmosphere. The flexible beam forming and steering combined with a large aperture array allows for observations with a high temporal and angular resolution. For both the analysis of the radar data and the configuration of experiments, the actual radiation pattern needs to be known. For that purpose, various simulations as well as passive and active experiments have been conducted. Here, results of meteor head echo observations are presented, which allow us to derive detailed information of the actual radiation pattern for different beam-pointing positions and the current health status of the entire radar. For MAARSY, the described method offers robust beam pointing and width estimations for a minimum of a few days of observations.