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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 Sep 2020

18 Sep 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Resolving ambiguous direction of arrival of weak meteor radar trail echoes

Daniel Kastinen1,2, Johan Kero1, Alexander Kozlovsky3, and Mark Lester4 Daniel Kastinen et al.
  • 1Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Box 812, SE-98128 Kiruna, Sweden
  • 2Umeå University, Department of Physics, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden
  • 3Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom

Abstract. Meteor phenomena cause ionized plasmas that can be roughly divided into two distinctly different regimes: a dense and transient plasma region co-moving with the ablating meteoroid and a trail of diffusing plasma left in the atmosphere and moving with the neutral wind. Interferometric radar systems are used to observe the meteor trails and determine their positions and drift velocities. Depending on the spatial configuration of the receiving antennas and their individual gain patterns, the voltage response can be the same for several different plane wave Directions Of Arrival (DOA), thereby making it impossible to determine the correct direction. Noise can create the same effect even if the system contains no theoretical ambiguities. We propose a method for interferometric meteor trail radar data analysis using coherent integration of the signal spatial correlation to resolve DOA ambiguities. We have validated the method by a combination of Monte Carlo simulations and application on 10 minutes of measurement data (174 meteor events) obtained with the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory SKiYMET all-sky interferometric meteor radar. We also applied a Bayesian method to determine the true location of ambiguous events in the data set. In 26 out of 27 (~ 96 %) ambiguous cases, the coherently integrated spatial correlation gave the correct output DOA as determined by Bayesian inference. In the one case that was mis-classified there were not enough radar pulses to coherently integrate for the method to be effective.

Daniel Kastinen et al.

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Daniel Kastinen et al.

Daniel Kastinen et al.


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Latest update: 29 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
When a meteor enters the atmosphere it causes a trail of diffusing plasma that moves with the neutral wind. An interferometric radar system can measure such trails and determine its location. However, there is a chance of determining the wrong position due to noise. We simulate this behavior and use the simulations to successfully determine the true location of ambiguous events. We also successfully test a simple temporal integration method for avoiding such erroneous determinations.
When a meteor enters the atmosphere it causes a trail of diffusing plasma that moves with the...