To study precipitation echoes at high resolution, the X-band vertically pointing radar (VertiX) is the ideal instrument. It allows the production of very detailed radar images of weather as it passes overhead.
Technically, VertiX is a boat radar transmitter-receiver to which is attached a parabolic antenna and a locally developed data collection system. The radar can detect all precipitation targets, some ice clouds and the turbulence associated with developing cumulus clouds (barely). It is also capable of measuring the Doppler velocity of targets.
VertiX is exclusively used for research. Among other topics, its measurements have been used in studies of the melting layer and the characterization of radar measurement errors. It is currently used for the comparison of vertical measurements at different wavelengths.
Vertix at Burnside, May 2010