Saskatoon MF Radar Winds

Saskatoon (52N,107W) MF Radar Winds, quick look plots

A prototype coherent receiver was first used for a dedicated Doppler velocity measurement during ~1985-1987. Subsequently Rob Strother-Stewart designed very good, fast gain switching, coherent receivers to be used in the Canadian Network for Space Research collaboration (CNSR, 1991-1995, which comprised Saskatoon, Robsart, Sylvan Lake, London, Ont.) The Saskatoon (often called "PARK", because it is located in what was then Park Municipality, but now amalgamated into Corman Park) first coherent system ran in a system consisting of a receiver inteface with 2MHz 6502 CPU, A/Ds etc.), an Apple II+, and a Commodore C128, for full correlation analysis (as did Robsart and Sylvan Lake). As in the RTW (non-coherent) system, data were converted to bit amplitudes relative to long-term running means for each height gate (32, 40-133 virtual Km) and component (I1,Q1,I2,Q2,I3,A3,I4,Q4), and lagged complex auto and cross correlations consisted of arrays of numbers of 1-matches. In this system, all receivers are sampled simultaneously. During this time at Park we used a locally designed and built 50KW (nominal) Transmitter (20μsec pulse) - but high power tubes were becoming very expensive.The other CNSR sites used 25KW TOMCO/ATRAD (Australia) solid state units. When CNSR ended (August 1995), we turned off the tube Tx and installed one of the solid state units at Parksite (the other went to Platteville).
In August 1996 we upgraded the analysis to use 8 bit amplitudes in a 386 PC. There was a considerable increase in the number of wind values produced.

In fall 2013 we suffered 3 break-ins at the site. In the last our Tx antenna open wire feeders were cut (around 3AM!). I assume thinking copper (they weren't copper - just copper clad steel.) So we made some Tx baluns and fed three E-W receiving dipoles in parallel ( feeders are underground!) , but we receive on N-S dipoles, so there was significant loss of data at lower heights. In August 2014 we ran an (over ground) new coax feeder to 1/2 the Tx antenna to return to N-S transmission, and it survived(!) for more than a month. The subsequent change back to N-S polarization on Sept. 30 resulted in at least one extra height at the bottom. A diagram of the antenna arrays is here. So far (April 2015) it hasn't been chewed and the cows haven't trampled it (much). In summer 2016 we had a disconnect in the Tx antenna feed (cowsdragged the on-the-ground feeder?) and lost 2 weeks.
Grant applications to run the site have not been funded for the last few years but we are scrounging and continuing on less than a shoestring.

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