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A Theory on Radar Reflections from the Lower Atmosphere

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1 Author(s)
W. E. Gordon ; Formerly, Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory, University of Texas, Austin, Tex.; now, School of Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

A theory is presented, supported by several sample sets of data, which indicate that the curious phenomenon dubbed "angels" (radar reflections from the lower atmosphere) may be attributed to sharp changes in the dielectric constant. The required magnitudes of the changes are computed from reflection theory and compared to sample meteorological data obtained from rapid-response instruments. The near-discontinuities in the dielectric constant are produced by atmospheric turbulence. It is proposed that the observed radar reflections are the result of turbulent motion in the lower atmosphere.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )