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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An experimental investigation of dual-polarized atmospheric propagation at 73 GHz Peters, John Basil


This thesis describes the design, construction and results of an accurate, 73 GHz, dual-polarized atmospheric propagation experiment conducted over a 1.8 km total length radar path. The millimetre-wave equipment consisted of a switched-polarization transmitter and a two-channel receiving system which included a phase-compensated crosspolar cancellation network and a novel, high-performance microstrip IF/LO diplexer. Meteorological instrumentation consisted of an improved electrostatic disdrometer, a raingauge network with high temporal and spatial resolution and a three-vector anemometer. A comprehensive experimental model was developed to predict the system crosspolar discrimination (XPD) response during a wide variety of conditions. This model was used to analyze, for what is believed to be the first time, the effects of: orthomode transducer port mismatches, the frequency response and error sensitivity of crosspolar cancellation systems and the range of possible cancelled system XPD responses during rain. This model also led to the development of a phase compensation technique used to improve the stability of the crosspolar cancellation network. The application of the experimental model resulted in far more accurate determinations of path XPD than would have been otherwise possible. The cancelled XPD results showed a reasonable correlation to horizontal wind velocities and agreed with model predictions for effective mean canting angles ranging between 0 and 6°. The frequent observation of negative differential attenuations and erratic uncancelled XPDs led to the conclusion that drops along the path often did not have consistent shapes and canting angles. This is believed to be due to extremely variable wind conditions. Copolar attenuations considerably lower and higher than expected from the standard predictions were observed. The higher attenuations are satisfactorily explained as resulting from vertical wind conditions and are correlated to the predictions from a proposed model which includes the effects of constant vertical wind velocities.

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