A 50 MHz FMCW radar for the study of E-region coherent backscatter
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A 50~MHz E-region coherent backscatter radar was designed based on frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar techniques. This thesis presents the theory behind the FMCW technique and its implementation in a practical radar system. The system was designed and constructed at the University of Saskatchewan and was field tested at a radar site a few kilometres from the university. This thesis demonstrates that an FMCW radar is technically possible and functional as a research tool for E-region coherent backscatter studies. The primary goal of this research is to develop a better understanding of the plasma processes responsible for the radar echoes. FMCW techniques offer a compromise between the pulsed and continuous wave (CW) radar techniques, which have previously been used for E-region experiments. CW techniques provide excellent spectral measurements but are limited in their ability to determine range information. Pulsed techniques offer excellent range resolution but may be limited in their ability to make detailed high resolution Doppler measurements of E-region radar backscatter. The implementation of FMCW techniques provides a simple and effective method of simultaneously obtaining excellent Doppler and range measurements. The use of FMCW techniques is a novel approach to E-region coherent backscatter studies. Data analysis techniques were developed to extract the range and Doppler information from FMCW radar echoes. In the first few months of operation, the radar observed all four typical E-region radar signatures, Type I to Type IV, plus meteor trail echoes. Observations of each type of radar echo are presented, without interpretation, to illustrate the performance of the radar.
DegreeMaster of Engineering (M.Eng.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
ProgramPhysics and Engineering Physics
SupervisorHussey, Glenn C.
Copyright DateJune 2006