Fluctuations in temperature, humidity and electron density in the atmosphere induce variations of the refractive index. MST/IS radar, equipped with powerful transmitters and high sensitivity receivers, is capabale of observing faint echoes from such fluctuations.
The PANSY radar provides continuous high resolution and accurate observation of three dimensional wind vectors in the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere. Standard observation provides 1 minute of temporal and 150 m of vertical resolutions with an accuracy of 0.1 m/s.
Current climate models have the problem of providing biased prediction in the polar regions due to unjustified evaluation of gravity wave effects. Quantitative understanding of the polar atmosphere is the key to understanding and predicting the global climate.
PANSY radar has a basic capability, unique in the Antarctic, of observing ionospheric incoherent scatter (IS). It is anticipated the radar will play a role in quantitatively investigating the effect of solar wind energy on the atmosphere.
Data provided by PANSY radar can be used to examine various atmospheric phenomena: the dynamics of atmospheric waves, structure of turbulence, transport and mixing of minor constituents such as ozone and water vapor, formation and dissipation of clouds, and energy balance of the atmosphere. PANSY radar also provides invaluable validation data to test simulated phenomena obtained using high-resolution climate models.
By observing respective layers of troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere/ionosphere simultaneously and continuously, vertical couling processes between the layers can be examined.
While improvement in computational ability realizes the high-resolution climate models, whether simulated small-scale phenomena are realistic or not must be confirmed by comparison with the observational data. The PANSY radar capable of detect small-scale phenomena provides high quality data for calibration of climate models.
Severe constraints such as "Transport from Japan to Syowa Station is only once a year. Construction is possible only in 1 months during short Antarctic summer." and "Maximum wind speed of about 50 m/s occurs several times a year." have been overcome. Power consumption of about 75 kW was achieved, which is one third of the MU radar with the equivalent ability, through the development of high efficiency class-E amplifier.
Light-weight aluminum alloy antennas are set up on 10cm diameter steel pipe bases inserted in 1m deep holes dug in the ground. Each antenna is equipped with an individual class-E amplifier.
Although the antenna field is not level, beams can still be pointed in any direction by making the best use of the active phased array capability to control the phase values of individual antenna.