Last week I had the chance to visit the CHILL research weather radar in Greeley, CO, which is operated by University of Colorado. During my studies, I had the privilege to make some dual polarization SMPRF measurements with this radar on a weather radar course organized by V. Chandrasekar (known to most people in the field as Chandra) at my university. For this reason, the chance to finally go and see this radar in person was special to me.
There are several things that make this radar special in the world of weather radars. It has a 9 meter dish, which might seem small for somebody coming from the incoherent scatter radar community, but it is large for a weather radar. The radar is dual polarized, with independent 1 MW peak power 2.725 GHz transmitters on both polarizations, which can operate at a 0.16% duty-cycle. The dish also hosts a low power X-band radar, which makes simultaneous S- and X-band measurements possible.
|The radome and the trailers containing the radar operating center, and the transmitters.|
|Offset feed antenna, hosting the dual polarized S-band and X-band radars.|
|From this perspective, the radar dish actually seems smaller than it really is. This picture offers a better representation of the proportions.|
|One of the Varian VA-87B/C klystrons, that provide the 1 MW peak power for the radar.|
|The klystron cabinet.|