This book is about designing, building, and using atmospheric radars. Of course the term “atmospheric radar” covers a wide and diverse set of instruments, which can be used to study a wide range of atmospheric phenomena, and we cannot cover all radar types nor all applications. However, radars used for MST (Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere) studies employ a very high percentage of the techniques used in atmospheric studies, and cover an extraordinary range of physical processes. Therefore we have chosen this field as our focus. A reader familiar with this book should not only have developed a broad comprehension of the MST region, but should be able to diversify easily to other fields of atmospheric radar work.
While the primary targets of this book are new and advanced graduate science and engineering students working with radar to study the atmosphere, we have also aimed to make it accessible and useful to a wider audience. The extensive references and diagrams should make it valuable as a general reference resource even for more experienced workers in the field. The level of difficulty in each chapter has been adapted to suit the standards of a student with a modest background in mathematics and signalprocessing. Some level of understanding of Fourier methods, including Fourier integrals, is desirable, although not mandatory. Nevertheless, some of the chapters are pitched at a level which could be followed even by an interested amateur. Chapter 2, for example, gives a moderately detailed history of the development of atmospheric radar, examining the development of experimental radio applications for both meteorology and world-wide communication following World War II, and would be of interest to, and easily comprehenced by, an enthusiastic radar hobbyist or history buff. Yet the detail on scatter processes in Chapter 3 in regard to the refractive index of the atmosphere and ionosphere should be enough to satisfy more discerning tastes in mathematical complexity.
The layout of the chapters has been carefully developed, mixing the areas of technical detail and practical application in a way that we hope will keep the reader stimulated as we develop parallel themes of radar engineering, experimental design, application and understanding of meteorological/atmospheric physics and chemistry.
We begin with an overview of the atmosphere which can easily be comprehended by a reader with no knowledge at all of radar.