MF radar interferometry
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis describes the development, operation and observations of interferometry experiments on two medium frequency spaced antennae radar operated by the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Canterbury; the 2.4 MHz radar at Birdlings Flat near Christchurch, New Zealand, and the 2.9 MHz radar at Scott Base on Ross Island in the Antarctic. These radars are of a standard design and detect scattering from the D and lower E regions of the ionosphere in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. The interferometry techniques used were those of temporal, spatial and frequency domain interferometry which provide information on Doppler shifting and the directional and radial distribution of backscattered signals received by the radars. This project represents the first time that these techniques have been operated together on radars of the type used in this project. The techniques were also carried out in conjunction with the standard procedures used on these radars, that of Spaced Antennae Drifts with Full Correlation Analysis (FCA). Various forms of interferometric analyses were carried out and comparisons were made between the results of interferometric analyses and those of more conventional techniques. For example a study was made of the relationship between interferometric and FCA velocities in which it was found that there was good agreement between the two methods, particularly when the scattering region does not change rapidly as it moves. Other analysis techniques investigated included examination of the angular distribution of scattering and aspect sensitivity, the statistical distributions of scattered signals, post beam steering, vertical velocities and momentum fluxes. Frequency domain interferometry provided enhanced measurement of range and the scattering depth or distribution of range of scattered signals. Measurements of scattering depth clearly identified examples of thin layers or localized scatter. These localized scattering events appeared to be associated with either steady flow or long period variations in steady flow, for example with the semidiurnal solar tide. Aside from these events much of the scatter was observed to be anisotropic and also appeared to originate from a number of distributed scattering centres spread horizontally and vertically in a manner consistent with Fresnel scattering models.