Cloud Radar

BASTA is a 95 GHz bi-static radar which has been developed at LATMOS, a research laboratory affiliated to the French national research centre (CNRS).

BASTA radar is dedicated to the ground based observation of clouds and fog. It makes the most of the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) technology: the frequency modulation of a continuous signal enables to determine the echo distance. Compared to pulsed radars that emit very high energy for a short time, BASTA emits continuously less energy with similar sensitivity. The power reduction is directly associated to a cost reduction.

BASTA has four resolutions that are used simultaneously: 12.5 m, 25 m, 100 m and 200 m. The 12.5 m mode allows observing fog, drizzle and low clouds up to 6 km of altitude with a sensitivity of -38 dBz at 1 km. The radar?s sensitivity at 1 km depends on the resolution, i.e. -44 dBz, -50 dBz and -53 dBz for 25 m, 100 m and 200 m modes respectively. The maximum distance that can be probed is 12 km for the observation of midlevel clouds and high cirrus.

In addition to its affordable price and great performances, BASTA is a robust and portable (154 x 94 x 62 cm for 70 kg) instrument that requires virtually no human intervention. The radar is placed on a swing that allows slant use and simplifies calibration procedures. The resolution and integration time can be controlled remotely and data are processed and saved in netcdf output format.

BASTA is currently operated at SIRTA observatory near PARIS and also in tropical conditions at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology since early 2014.

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