The Moon as a calibration target of convenience for VHF‐UHF radar systems

J. D. Mathews, J. K. Breakall, M. P. Sulzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Knowledge of the absolute, versus relative, performance characteristics of VHF and UHF radars used in geophysical applications is often important. We suggest that the Moon may form a convenient, easily tracked calibration target for many such radars. The lunar absolute radar scattering crosssection is large, reasonably well known (∼7% of the visible disk) and is essentially wavelength independent over 6 m > λ > 1 cm. The Arecibo 430‐MHz radar system was calibrated using the Moon as the target. These measurements, which are discussed in detail, yielded cross sections of 4.0% and 4.6% for a special 6 W and the main 1.6‐MW transmitters, respectively. We develop and present the radar equation appropriate to all total power calibration procedures including the Arecibo “worst case” calibration. We also discuss error levels, the necessity for averaging to obtain valid cross sections, and other practical difficulties associated with the technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalRadio Science
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

Fingerprint

Moon
Radar systems
moon
radar
radar scattering
Calibration
calibration
cross sections
Radar
cross section
transmitters
Transmitters
scattering
wavelengths
Scattering
wavelength
Wavelength

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Mathews, J. D. ; Breakall, J. K. ; Sulzer, M. P. / The Moon as a calibration target of convenience for VHF‐UHF radar systems. In: Radio Science. 1988 ; Vol. 23, No. 1. pp. 1-12.
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The Moon as a calibration target of convenience for VHF‐UHF radar systems. / Mathews, J. D.; Breakall, J. K.; Sulzer, M. P.

In: Radio Science, Vol. 23, No. 1, 01.01.1988, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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