Radar Observations in Support of the Mackenzie GEWEK Study (MAGS)
Principal Investigator: Haykin, Simon (2)
Licence Number: 13033
Organization: McMaster University
Licenced Year(s): 1999 1998
Issued: Apr 15, 1999
Project Team: Brian Currie, Dr, David Hudak, Bob Kochtubajda

Objective(s): The Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS) is the Canadian component of the international effort called the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), in support of a World Climate Research Programme to observe, understand, and model the hydrological cycle and energy fluxes in the atmosphere, at land surface, and in the upper oceans. A radar will be used to measure the precipitation and cloud properties within 150 km of the Fort Simpson airport. These measurements taken during certain 3-week observation periods, will be used to develop and validate models applicable over larger regional areas.

Project Description: The Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS) is the Canadian component of the international effort called the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX), in support of a World Climate Research Programme to observe, understand, and model the hydrological cycle and energy fluxes in the atmosphere, at land surface, and in the upper oceans. A transportable radar system, called the IPIX radar, which was set up on the Fort Simpson airport property in 1998 will be operated for two 3-4 week periods during April, May and July 1999. The system will be left on site but not operated outside these specific periods. This will be used to measure the precipitation and cloud properties within 150 km of the airport. These measurements will be used to develop and validate models applicable over larger regional areas. The radar system consists of two trailers with a radar, computing and data collection equipment and workspace for researchers. The radar will operate in two modes: one with the antenna rotating at one of three elevation angles, and a second with the antenna stationary. The radar is low power, and even during data collection, transmission is in bursts. There is no safety concern regarding microwave radiation from the system. The radar operates in a portion of the frequency spectrum assigned by the government for radar use, and has an experimental radio licence, to transmit on a noninterference basis. Received radar echo signals are digitized, processed and results stores on CD-ROM. For precipitation, recorded signals will include reflectivity, velocity, and polarization properties. Cloud information will be gathered with the radar pointing vertically, monitoring the moisture of the clouds overhead.