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Orbit Determination of Meteors Using the MU Radar
Toru SATO Takuji NAKAMURA Koji NISHIMURA
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications
Publication Date: 2000/09/25
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Advances in Radar Systems)
meteor observation, MU radar, orbit determination, Doppler pulse compression, space environment,
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Meteor storms and showers are now considered as potential hazard in the space environment. Radar observations of meteors has an advantage of a much higher sensitivity over optical observations. The MU radar of Kyoto University, Japan has a unique capability of very fast beam steerability as well as a high sensitivity to the echoes from ionization around the meteors. We developed a special observation scheme which enables us to determine the orbit of individual meteors. The direction of the target is determined by comparing the echo intensity at three adjacent beams. The Doppler pulse compression technique is applied to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the echoes from the very fast target, and also to determine the range accurately. The developed scheme was applied to the observation made during the Leonid meteor storm on November 18, 1998 (JST). Estimated orbital distribution seems to suggest that the very weak meteors detected by the MU radar are dominated by sporadic meteors rather than the stream meteors associated with the Leonids storm.