Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Research article
03 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 03 Mar 2016

Coded continuous wave meteor radar

Juha Vierinen, Jorge L. Chau, Nico Pfeffer, Matthias Clahsen, and Gunter Stober

Abstract. The concept of a coded continuous wave specular meteor radar (SMR) is described. The radar uses a continuously transmitted pseudorandom phase-modulated waveform, which has several advantages compared to conventional pulsed SMRs. The coding avoids range and Doppler aliasing, which are in some cases problematic with pulsed radars. Continuous transmissions maximize pulse compression gain, allowing operation at lower peak power than a pulsed system. With continuous coding, the temporal and spectral resolution are not dependent on the transmit waveform and they can be fairly flexibly changed after performing a measurement. The low signal-to-noise ratio before pulse compression, combined with independent pseudorandom transmit waveforms, allows multiple geographically separated transmitters to be used in the same frequency band simultaneously without significantly interfering with each other. Because the same frequency band can be used by multiple transmitters, the same interferometric receiver antennas can be used to receive multiple transmitters at the same time. The principles of the signal processing are discussed, in addition to discussion of several practical ways to increase computation speed, and how to optimally detect meteor echoes. Measurements from a campaign performed with a coded continuous wave SMR are shown and compared with two standard pulsed SMR measurements. The type of meteor radar described in this paper would be suited for use in a large-scale multi-static network of meteor radar transmitters and receivers. Such a system would be useful for increasing the number of meteor detections to obtain improved meteor radar data products.

Short summary
This paper describes the use of pseudorandom coded continuous wave radar transmissions for meteor radar. This avoids range-aliased echoes, maximizes pulse compression gain, is less susceptible to RFI, allows time resolution to be changed flexibly, and enables multiple transmitters to operate on the same frequency without interfering each other. These features make the radar well suited for multi-static meteor radar networks. We show results from a measurement campaign to demonstrate the method.