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New Research: Radar Group

Advanced MIMO Radar Development for Geophysical Imaging Applications
New Research: Radar Group

The avalanche test facility bunker at the Vallée de la Sionne, Switzerland

This program, funded by EPSRC, will build on previous work at UCL in developing and utilizing a range of radar instruments to image geophysical phenomena, including snow avalanches, volcanoes and polar ice shelves. The work will be performed in conjunction with project partners and collaborators at the University of Sheffield (Civil Engineering), University of Cambridge (DAMTP), SLF (Switzerland) and the British Antarctic Survey and includes the same team as the recent NERC-funded (NE/F004621/1) GEODAR project in which an advanced 5.3 GHz multi-waveform phased array radar has been developed and deployed in Switzerland. This has improved the spatial accuracy of radar velocity measurements in avalanches by nearly two orders of magnitude, to 0.75 m down- slope, with a cross-slope resolution of around 10 m at a frame rate of 50 Hz. The system was installed at the Vallée de la Sionne, Switzerland, operated by SLF (Institut für Schnee und Lawinenforschung) and has been in place for two seasons. The quality of the data from this instrument has the capability to transform our understanding of a whole class of environmental mass flows such as avalanches and pyroclastic flows. The next step is to develop and trial a MIMO variant of this instrument to allow high-resolution 2D imaging of both slow- and fast-moving scenes and to arrive at a multi-purpose platform that may be used to image a variety of geophysical phenomena