METEOROLOGICAL RADAR OF SPINO D'ADDA

The meteorological S-band (3 GHz), single polarization radar, operating since 1979 at the station of Spino d'Adda was build by XXX in late 70'. It was designed as the facility dedicated mainly to the radio propagation and radio-climatology studies, in particular the characterization and modelling of millimetre radio wave propagation, including the electromagnetic scattering and interference in radio systems.
The basic features were: frequency 2.8 GHz; peak power 500 kW; pulse length 0.5 µs; pulse repetition frequency 480 Hz; antenna 3.6 m paraboloid; beamwidth (at - 3 dB) 2°; tangential sensitivity -104 dBm with RF amplifier, -98 dBm without RF amplifier; receiver with logarithmic IF amplifier, dynamic range of 70 dB.
Along the years Spino radar provided the researchers with an invaluable amount of information on the structure of precipitation phenomena (some papers: PAPER 84, PAPER 86, ); three-dimensional images and "along-the-link" profiles of precipitation were collected and used to develop conceptual models for the prediction of the effects of rain on electromagnetic wave propagation (e.g. PAPER 92). The massive amount of data were found useful for other research areas, including, naturally, meteorology (see for instance PAPER 99).
In the three decades of operation it underwent several upgradings. During 1995 the system has been modified, enabling coherent (Doppler) measurements to be made. A new digital signal processor has been developed, endowed with 5 DSP CPUs (Motorola 96002), a control CPU (68040) and 64 Mbyte of Ram; the analog/digital interface (inclusive of the IAGC system) has been designed and built in-house. A Sun-4 workstation is used to develop the processing code (cross-compiled C and assembler); an HP 9000-750 workstation is used as a "consolle" for the control of the system, and to display the colour maps of precipitation. A concise description of the technical solutions, both hardware and software, that have been adopted for the new radar system are in the PAPER 95. Current (update 2002) specifications of the system are shown in page RADAR-02. A typical sequence of rain maps is shown in Rain event example (also an icon below).

Very particular branch of research based on radar scans is represented by monitoring bird migration (see also icon in the gallery).

Gallery