CORRECTION OF NEAR-HORIZONTAL RADAR ELEVATION ANGLES FOR ATMOSPHERIC REFRACTION
PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE POINT MUGU CA
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ANFPS-16 radars at Point Mugu, San Nicolas Island, and Tranquillon Peak, California, observed the variability with time and space of the position parameters mostly elevation angle of a fixed transponder beacon on Santa Cruz Island, California. Soundings with an airborne refractometer were taken along the Point Mugu-Santa Cruz Island path, and radiosondes were released at Point Mugu, while radars at Point Mugu collected elevation angle observations. A raytrace computer program operated on the sounding data to compute predicted elevation angles at the radar. Observed and predicted angles were compared. It was concluded that errors in the observed elevation angles were due mainly to atmospheric refraction. Also, it was concluded that the variability with time and space of propagation conditions make the slowly acquired and inaccurately positioned sounding data inadequate to achieve corrections commensurate with the inherent accuracy of the ANFPS-16 radar. If accurate lowangle position data are required, methods other than soundings with aircraft-borne refractometers and balloon-borne meteorological sensor packages should be sought and developed.
- Atmospheric Physics