Announcement 2006-11-14

MST radar data from the new (version-3) signal processing scheme now available through the BADC
A new (version-3 or v3), real-time MST Radar signal processing scheme began operations in January 2006. This scheme represents the culmination of a long research-and-development exercise which has been undertaken in collaboration with the Met Office. The Met Office have evaluated the quality of the thirty-minute-average wind components by making comparisons against their numerical weather prediction model. This has demonstrated a significant improvement in data quality over the v0 signal processing scheme (for which development ceased in 2001). Consequently the Met Office switched over from v0 to v3 data for operational assimilation in September 2006.

v3 data are now being made available through the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) in netCDF (binary) format files. netCDF is being used by an increasing number of datasets stored by the BADC and the routines required to read MST radar data are the same as those used for reading any other netCDF file.

At present v3 data are only available for early November 2006 onwards. Eventually all archived observations will be reprocessed and the data products made available in the new format. However, this will take some time. If you are interested in data for particular dates which are not yet available, please contact the NERC MST Radar Facility Project Scientist. Reprocessing can be undertaken upon request.

IMPORTANT: Production of v0 and v2 data files to cease in early 2007
The current radar control and data acquisition system has been in operation since 1999. It cannot be maintained indefinitely and so work has been undertaken over the past 18 months to develop a new system. Low-level data (i.e. spectral) from this new system will be written natively into netCDF files. Although it will be simple to adapt v3 processing to operate on the new files, v0 processing is inextricably linked to the old, non-standard format spectral files. Consequently the production of v0 data will cease when the new acquisition system is installed for operational purposes. This is anticipated to take place in January 2007. Please contact the NERC MST Radar Facility Project Scientist if this is likely to cause any problems.