ARM’s scanning cloud radars are fully coherent dual-frequency, dual-polarization Doppler radars mounted on a common scanning pedestal. Each pedestal includes a Ka-band radar (2kW peak power) and the deployment location determines whether the second radar is a W-band (WSACR; 1.7 kW peak power) or X-band (XSACR; 20 kW peak power). At ARM’s tropical sites, X-band radars are paired with the Ka-band because they are better suited for the atmospheric attenuation in this region.
Beamwidth for the X-band is approximately 1 degree, and the Ka-band beamwidth is roughly 0.3 degrees. Due to the narrow antenna beamwidth, ARM’s scanning cloud radars use scanning strategies unlike typical weather radars. Rather than focusing on plan position indicator, or PPI, scans, the XSACR uses range height indicator, or RHI, scans at numerous azimuths to obtain cloud volume data.
For the second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2), the XSACR can be dismounted from the pedestal it shares with the KASACR and mounted on a separate pedestal. This allows the XSACR to operate more like a weather (precipitation) radar in deployments where such local coverage is lacking.
Measurements collected with the XSACR are copolar and cross-polar radar reflectivity, Doppler velocity, spectra width and spectra when not scanning, differential Reflectivity (Zdr), correlation coefficient (rho-hv), and specific differential phase (phi-dp).
XSACR data from the 2018–2019 Cloud, Aerosol, and Complex Terrain Interactions (CACTI) field campaign in Argentina are now available as b1-level products. Building on the original CACTI operational data, the b1-level products feature improved data quality resulting from extensive analyses and corrections. The data are cross-calibrated to a common point, datastreams are corrected for operational issues that occurred during the campaign, and several data quality masks and basic derived products are incorporated. For more information, read the CACTI radar b1-level processing report.