PoldiRad (Polarization Diversity Doppler Radar)

POLDIRAD is a C-band dual-polarization weather radar designed for research of clouds and precipitation. First installed at DLR's Institute of Atmospheric Physics (DLR-IPA) in 1986, the radar has been upgraded and is comparable to the weather radars in Germany's operational network. The chosen location, near St John  (app. 8 km WNW of the Barbados Cloud Observatory) offers a wide and undisturbed view to the East and the region where the aircraft (, and ) will fly. POLDIRAD will be installed in December 2019 and will operate throughout the EUREC4A field campaign into the onset of the wet season until July 2020.  POLDIRAD’s measurements with horizontal and vertical scans will serve two major aspects: (i) measure the life cycle of the precipitation cells in the region of the aircraft activity and those cells approaching Barbados and in particular those passing over BCO. (ii) retrieve information about cloud microphysics by combining C-band measurements with the profiles from the Ka- and W-band radars at the Barbados Cloud Observatory ().

Technical Specifications:

Frequency5503.5 MHz
Peak transmit power (at antenna)180 kW
AntennaScanning (360º in azimuth and 90º in elevation) offset parabola with 4.5 m dish, with a resulting beam width of 1º
Polarizationany possible. but typically horizontal and vertical
Transmit mode 1
pulse duration: 1 µs
pulse repetition frequency: 1200 Hz
maximum range 125 km
range resolution 150 m
minimum detectable signal -6 dBz at 50 km

Transmit mode 2pulse duration: 2 µs
pulse repetition frequency: 400 Hz
maximum range 300 km
range resolution 300 m
minimum detectable signal -12 dBz at 50 km

Position 13.1805 N, 59.4963 W, 245 m above sea level, dish 6 m above ground.
ProductsZ: reflectivity
V: Doppler velocity
W: spectral width
ZDR: differential reflectivity
LDR: linear depolarization ratio
phiDP: differential propagation phase
KDP: specific differential propagation phase
rhoHV: copular correlation coefficient


Martin Hagen (DLR)


PoldiRad is being operated as a joint project of the DLR-IPA and the MPI, thanks to funding generously donated by the the Supporting Members of the Max Planck Society.

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