Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Weather radar


Interest in forecasting impacts of climate change have heightened attention in recent decades to how animals respond to variation in climate and weather patterns. One difficulty in determining animal response to climate variation is lack of long-term datasets that record animal behaviors over decadal scales. We used radar observations from the national NEXRAD network of Doppler weather radars to measure how group behavior in a colonially-roosting bat species responded to annual variation in climate and daily variation in weather over the past 11 years. Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) form dense aggregations in cave roosts in Texas. These bats emerge from caves daily to forage at high altitudes, which makes them detectable with Doppler weather radars. Timing of emergence in bats is often viewed as an adaptive trade-off between emerging early and risking predation or increased competition and emerging late which restricts foraging opportunities. We used timing of emergence from five maternity colonies of Brazilian free-tailed bats in south-central Texas during the peak lactation period (15 June-15 July) to determine whether emergence behavior was associated with summer drought conditions and daily temperatures. Bats emerged significantly earlier during years with extreme drought conditions than during moist years. Bats emerged later on days with high surface temperatures in both dry and moist years, but there was no relationship between surface temperatures and timing of emergence in summers with normal moisture levels. We conclude that emergence behavior is a flexible animal response to climate and weather conditions and may be a useful indicator for monitoring animal response to long-term shifts in climate.

Concepts: Weather, Emergence, Climate change, Meteorology, Cave, Radar, Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Weather radar


This paper presents wearable health monitors that are based on continuous-wave Doppler radar technology. To achieve low complexity, low power consumption and simultaneous wireless transmission of Doppler information, the radar architecture is bistatic with a self-injection-locked oscillator (SILO) tag and an injection-locked oscillator (ILO)-based frequency demodulator. In experiments with a prototype that was operated in the Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) and the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands from 2.36 to 2.484 GHz, the SILO tag is attached to the chest of a subject to transform the movement of the chest due to cardiopulmonary activity and body exercise into a transmitted frequencymodulated wave. The tag consumes a very low power of 4.4 mW. The ILO-based frequency demodulator, located 30 cm from the subject, receives and processes this wave to yield the waveform that is associated with the movement of the chest. Following further digital signal processing, the cardiopulmonary activity and body exercise are displayed as time-frequency spectrograms. Promisingly, the experimental results that are presented in this paper reveal that the proposed health monitor has high potential to integrate a cardiopulmonary sensor, a pedometer and a wireless transmission device on a single radar platform.

Concepts: Signal processing, Wave, Doppler effect, Digital signal processing, Radio, Radar, Weather radar, Doppler radar


The shortest possible migratory route for birds is not always the best route to travel. Substantial research effort has established that birds in captivity are capable of orienting toward the direction of an intended goal, but efforts to examine how free-living birds use navigational information under conditions that potentially make direct flight toward that goal inefficient have been limited in spatiotemporal scales and in the number of individuals observed because of logistical and technological limitations. Using novel and recently developed techniques for analysis of Doppler polarimetric weather surveillance radar data, we examined two impediments for nocturnally migrating songbirds in eastern North America following shortest-distance routes: crosswinds and oceans. We found that migrants in flight often drifted sideways on crosswinds, but most strongly compensated for drift when near the Atlantic coast. Coastal migrants' tendency to compensate for wind drift also increased through the night, while no strong temporal differences were observed at inland sites. Such behaviors suggest that birds migrate in an adaptive way to conserve energy by assessing while airborne the degree to which they must compensate for wind drift.

Concepts: United States, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean, Tropical cyclone, Marine debris, Radar, Bird migration, Weather radar


Mercury (Hg) wet deposition-transfer from the atmosphere to Earth’s surface by precipitation-in the United States (US) is highest in locations and seasons with frequent deep convective thunderstorms but it has never been demonstrated whether the connection is causal or simple coincidence. We use rainwater samples from over 800 individual precipitation events to show that thunderstorms increase Hg concentrations by 50 % relative to weak convective or stratiform events of equal precipitation depth. Radar and satellite observations reveal that strong convection reaching the upper troposphere-where high atmospheric concentrations of soluble, oxidized mercury species (Hg(II)) are known to reside-produces the highest Hg concentrations in rain. As a result, precipitation meteorology, especially thunderstorm frequency and total rainfall, explains differences in Hg deposition between study sites located in the eastern US. Assessing the fate of atmospheric mercury thus requires bridging the scales of global transport and convective precipitation.

Concepts: Earth, Precipitation, Atmosphere, Tropical cyclone, Rain, Extratropical cyclone, Cloud, Weather radar


In fine warm weather, the daytime convective atmosphere over land areas is full of small migrant insects, among them serious pests (e.g. some species of aphid), but also many beneficial species (e.g. natural enemies of pests). For many years intensive aerial trapping studies were the only way of determining the density profiles of these small insects, and for taxon-specific studies trapping is still necessary. However, if we wish to determine generic behavioural responses to air movements shown by small day-migrating insects as a whole, the combination of millimetre-wavelength ‘cloud radars’ and Doppler lidar now provides virtually ideal instrumentation. Here we examine the net vertical velocities of > 1 million insect targets, relative to the vertical motion of the air in which they are flying, as a succession of fair-weather convective cells pass over the recording site in Oklahoma, USA. The resulting velocity measurements are interpreted in terms of the flight behaviours of small insects. These behaviours are accounted for by a newly-developed Lagrangian stochastic model of weakly-flying insect movements in the convective boundary layer; a model which is consistent with classic characterisations of small insect aerial density profiles. We thereby link patterns to processes.

Concepts: Insect, Radar, Weather radar


A vibration sensor based on the use of a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) platform is adopted in this work to provide a contactless and multipurpose solution for low-cost real-time vibrations monitoring. In order to test the vibration detection ability of the proposed non-contact method, a 1 GHz Doppler radar sensor is simulated and successfully assessed on targets at various distances, with various oscillation frequencies and amplitudes. Furthermore, an SDR Doppler platform is practically realized, and preliminary experimental validations on a device able to produce a harmonic motion are illustrated to prove the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Concepts: Wave, Frequency, Sound, Vibration, Radio, Radar, Weather radar, Doppler radar


The current network of weather surveillance radars within the United States readily detects flying birds and has proven to be a useful remote-sensing tool for ornithological study. Radar reflectivity measures serve as an index to bird density and have been used to quantitatively map landbird distributions during migratory stopover by sampling birds aloft at the onset of nocturnal migratory flights. Our objective was to further develop and validate a similar approach for mapping wintering waterfowl distributions using weather surveillance radar observations at the onset of evening flights. We evaluated data from the Sacramento, CA radar (KDAX) during winters 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. We determined an optimal sampling time by evaluating the accuracy and precision of radar observations at different times during the onset of evening flight relative to observed diurnal distributions of radio-marked birds on the ground. The mean time of evening flight initiation occurred 23 min after sunset with the strongest correlations between reflectivity and waterfowl density on the ground occurring almost immediately after flight initiation. Radar measures became more spatially homogeneous as evening flight progressed because birds dispersed from their departure locations. Radars effectively detected birds to a mean maximum range of 83 km during the first 20 min of evening flight. Using a sun elevation angle of -5° (28 min after sunset) as our optimal sampling time, we validated our approach using KDAX data and additional data from the Beale Air Force Base, CA (KBBX) radar during winter 1998-1999. Bias-adjusted radar reflectivity of waterfowl aloft was positively related to the observed diurnal density of radio-marked waterfowl locations on the ground. Thus, weather radars provide accurate measures of relative wintering waterfowl density that can be used to comprehensively map their distributions over large spatial extents.

Concepts: Time, Accuracy and precision, Meteorology, Radar, Rain, Weather radar, NEXRAD, Doppler radar


This paper focuses on developing an anti-velocity jamming strategy that enhances the ability of a pulse-Doppler (PD) radar to detect moving targets in the presence of translational and/or micro motion velocity jamming generated by the digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) repeat jammers. The strategy adopts random pulse initial phase (RPIP) pulses as its transmitted signal and thus gets DRFM jammers not adaptable to the randomness of initial phase of the transmitted pulses in the pulse repetition interval (PRI) domain. The difference between the true target echo and the false target jamming signal at each PRI is then utilized to recognize the true and false target signals. In particular, an entropy based multi-channel processing scheme is designed to extract the information of the received signal without the assumption that true and false targets must be both included within one coherent processing interval (CPI). Information such as the component of the received signal (target echo only, jamming only or both) or the operating manner of DRFM repeat jammer can be gained (if jamming exists). Meanwhile, we solve the false target recognition problem under sparse theory frame and our previous work named the short-time sparse recovery (STSR) algorithm is introduced to recover the motion parameters of the true and/or false targets in the time-frequency domain. It should be pointed out that both the translational false target jamming and micro motion target jamming can be recognized in our strategy. The performance of the proposed strategy is compared with the correlated processing (CP) method used by most extant strategies. It is shown that the proposed strategy can successfully recognize the existence of true and/or false targets and keep its power in recovering corresponding motion parameters even when the jamming environment is strong.

Concepts: Randomness, Phase transition, Radio, Debut albums, Radar, Weather radar, Luke Cage, Pulse repetition frequency


Traffic speed meters are important legal measuring instruments specially used for traffic speed enforcement and must be tested and verified in the field every year using a vehicular mobile standard speed-measuring instrument to ensure speed-measuring performances. The non-contact optical speed sensor and the GPS speed sensor are the two most common types of standard speed-measuring instruments. The non-contact optical speed sensor requires extremely high installation accuracy, and its speed-measuring error is nonlinear and uncorrectable. The speed-measuring accuracy of the GPS speed sensor is rapidly reduced if the amount of received satellites is insufficient enough, which often occurs in urban high-rise regions, tunnels, and mountainous regions. In this paper, a new standard speed-measuring instrument using a dual-antenna Doppler radar sensor is proposed based on a tradeoff between the installation accuracy requirement and the usage region limitation, which has no specified requirements for its mounting distance and no limitation on usage regions and can automatically compensate for the effect of an inclined installation angle on its speed-measuring accuracy. Theoretical model analysis, simulated speed measurement results, and field experimental results compared with a GPS speed sensor with high accuracy showed that the dual-antenna Doppler radar sensor is effective and reliable as a new standard speed-measuring instrument.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Measuring instruments, Radar, Speed of light, Weather radar, Doppler radar, Radar gun


Vital detection on the basis of Doppler radars has drawn a great deal of attention from researchers because of its high potential for applications in biomedicine, surveillance, and finding people alive under debris during natural hazards. In this research, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the remote vital-sign detection system is investigated. On the basis of different types of noise, such as phase noise, Gaussian noise, leakage noise between the transmitting and receiving antennae, and so on, the SNR of the system has first been examined. Then the research has focused on the investigation of the detection and false alarm probabilities of the system when the transmission link between the human and the radar sensor system took the Nakagami-mchannel model. The analytical model for the false alarm and the detection probabilities of the system have been derived. The proposed theoretical models for the SNR and detection probability match with the simulation and measurement results. These theoretical models have the potential to be used as good references for the hardware development of the vital-sign detection radar sensor system.

Concepts: Polarization, Doppler effect, Noise, Sonar, Radar, Weather radar, Doppler radar, Radar gun