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The Stratospheric WAter vapor RAdiometer (SWARA) is a microwave radiometer designed for ground-based measurements of water vapor (H2O) in the middle atmosphere (20 to 80 km), including the stratosphere and mesosphere. The instrument is operating in a noncryogenic balancing calibration mode. Since its deployment, features have been observed in the spectrum which can be attributed to resonant variations of the antenna pattern of the corrugated horn. This paper presents copolar and crosspolar antenna pattern measurements of two sister antennas of the SWARA horn, as well as water vapor measurements from both antennas on the ground-based microwave radiometer MI ddle Atmospheric WAter vapor RA diometer. We show that small irregularities in the frequency spectrum at the -20-dB level are visible in the copolar pattern, which, due to the balancing operation scheme used for the radiometer, lead to features in the spectrum that have the same or even higher brightness temperature as the line of interest.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2009