Dr Lindsay Bennett

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Instrument Support Level 6
Instrument Support Level

Instrument Support Level 6

Manufacturer & Model

Metek Scanning Cloud RADAR MIRA-35

CEDA Archive Name


Data Products

Under Development

Insurance Value


Physical Dimensions

300 cm x 200 cm x 210 cm. 800kg


300 cm x 200 cm x 210 cm. 800kg

Daily Facility Charge

£70: when operating away from home base. £50: when operating at home base.


Calendar 2:
Ka-band Mobile Cloud Radar (Kepler)

Ka-band Mobile Cloud Radar (Kepler)

The trailer-mounted mobile radar operates at Ka-band (35.1 GHz, 8.54 mm) and has Doppler capability. It uses linear polarisation on transmit and receives co- and cross-polarised signals simultaneously. The system has a 1.0 m diameter Cassegrain antenna with a beam width of 0.6 degree and an integrated clutter screen.

The radar has high sensitivity for observing clouds, and measures radial winds and depolarisation due to non-spherical targets.

Signal analysis, data retrievals and data storage are performed by PCs contained within the radar trailer and antenna box. The operational software allows the user to set up the radar for deployment and schedule the scanning sequence. The software also provides real-time data visualisation and product generation.

Mira screen shot


This instrument has a wide range of applications including: cloud microphysics, fog detection, meteorology, wind shear detection.

Frequency: 35.1 GHz
Beamwidth: 0.58°
Antenna diameter: 1.0 m
Antenna gain: 49.2 dB
Peak power: nominally 30 kW
Average power: 30-60 W
Typical operating range: 22km (up to 40km with suitable choice of PRF and pulse width)
Azimuth scanning range: 0°-360°
Speed azimuth/elevation: 0°-20° per second (typically 1° per second)
Elevation scanning range: 0°-180°
Measurement gate length: 15-60 m (pulse width dependent)
Number of range gates: adjustable, maximum 800
Minimum gate spacing: 15 m
Pulse repetition frequency: 2.5-10 kHz depending on selected pulse width
Pulse width: 100-400 ns
Sensitivity: -53 dBZ (5 km range, 30 m range resolution and 10s time resolution, 1m antenna)
Polarization parameters: Linear polarization on transmit, co and cross polarized signals are received simultaneously. LDR, and co – cross – correlation can be computed.


Within the UK the radar requires an “OfW 225 Non-operational licence” from Ofcom. The licence has to be applied for and usually takes about 8 weeks to be granted and currently costs £50. Other countries will probably require a similar kind of licence.

The instrument scientist is responsible for monitoring the quality of the data during the deployment of the radar. The system has a number of diagnostics that allows the instrument scientist to determine if the system is operating optimally or requires manufacturer servicing and intervention. The instrument scientist will also perform standard quality control on the campaign dataset after deployment.


Please contact the instrument scientist to discuss if any consumables are required.

  • Instrument Insurance
    • The user is responsible for the cost of insuring the instrument while on deployment: the insurance cost is £350K.
    • The instrument scientist will generally be responsible for the instrument.  However, if the user has enough experience to operate the instrument in the absence of the instrument scientist, the user will be responsible for the instrument during the deployment.  In such situations as formal agreement is required for insurance purposes.
  • Public Liability Insurance
    • AMOF is not liable for any damage or injury arising from the deployment or operation of this instrument when unattended by the instrument scientist.
  • Shipping Expenses:
    • The user is liable for all costs arising from the shipping of the instrument both to and from a deployment.
  • IS T&S
    • The user is responsible for coving the travel and subsistence expenses of the instrument scientist while attending the instrument.

Please contact the instrument scientist to discuss shipping requirements.

This radar cannot be operated without the instrument scientist, or without detailed consultation with the instrument scientist. This consultation will include detailed health and safety requirements and risk assessments.  The risk assessments will be dependent on axactly how the radar is deployed, and whether or not it is in an area accessible to the public. The primary consideration is exposure to the transmissions and a radiation exposure assessment will be required to determine whether a barrier or exclusion zone is needed.

In nearly all circumstances the radar support engineer, instrument scientist and other AMOF staff will be responsible for the deployment and setup of the radar. Any user involved in the deployment must have had prior training and permission from the instrument scientist to help.

Good road access to the site, security, power and visibility are the main considerations.  The instrument scientist or radar support engineer will need to carry out a site visit.

The optimal configuration is to hoist the radar onto a deployable platform formed from two shipping containers with access stairs and railings.  AMOF is able to offer this option.  When this is used, the site visit will also need to involve a crane company.

The mobile cloud radar requires flat (< 3% incline) and firm ground in a location with as few obstructions as possible to reduce the amount of ground clutter.

  • Supply Voltage: 240V
  • Connection: Type Single-phase
  • Male connector: CEE 3-pole
  • Maximum consumption: 12 kW
  • Fuse of the main power distributor: 32 A
  • Maximum occurring residual current: 500 mA
Operating conditions
  • Temperature range: -10° to +35°C
  • Permissible operational wind load: 90 kmph (56 mph)
Trailer/Radar Specification
  • Weight: 800 kg
  • Height in transport (antenna at 0°): 3000 mm
  • Max height (antenna at 90°): 4250 mm
  • Width (supports retracted): 2000 mm
  • Width (supports extended): 2100 mm
  • Length including towbar: 4000 mm
Field Data
  • The manufacturer provides IDL scripts for near real-time product and quicklook plot generation.
  • AMOF has created further Python scripts that may be adapted to produce plots tailored to user needs.

Archive data
  • Data is provided in CfRadial NetCDF files following the NCAS radar data standard
  • Files may contain multiple sweeps (e.g. sets of RHI or PPI scans) grouped according to the particular application.
  • The instrument name is
    • ncas-radar-mobile-ka-band-1
  • The data product(s) associated with this instrument:
    • Level 1 – the native/raw data from the instrument software is processed to CfRadial files.
    • Level 2 – QC and calibration offsets for effective reflectivity applied.