Radio Science

Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR): System description and first results



[1] A VHF Doppler radar with an active phased-array antenna system, called the Equatorial Atmosphere Radar (EAR), was established recently at the equator near Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia (0.20°S, 100.32°E, 865 m above sea level). The EAR is a large monostatic radar which operates at 47.0 MHz with peak output power of 100 kW. The EAR uses a circular antenna array, approximately 110 m in diameter, which consists of 560 three-element Yagi antennas. Each antenna is driven by a solid-state transmitter-receiver module. This system configuration allows the antenna beam to be steered electronically up to 5,000 times per second. The scientific objective of the EAR is to advance knowledge of dynamical and electrodynamical coupling processes in the equatorial atmosphere from the near-surface region to the upper atmosphere. The equatorial atmosphere over Indonesia is considered to play an important role in global change of the Earth's atmosphere. This paper presents the system description of the EAR, including observational results of the equatorial atmosphere made for the first time with altitude resolution of 75–150 m.