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The SKiYMET radar is a joint development between Mardoc Inc. and Genesis Software Pty. Ltd. Genesis Software Pty. Ltd. of Australia. It can be used for both atmospheric and astronomical applications. It was the first of its kind, and is still a unique product.

With regard to atmospheric applications, it is capable of determining winds and temperatures in the height region between 80 and 100 km altitude of the atmosphere, utilizing plasma trails formed when small meteoroids enter the atmosphere. Each plasma trail is blown by the neutral wind,and by monitoring the drift of the trail using a combination of interferometric and Doppler techniques, we can utilize this information to measure the upper level atmospheric winds. By measuring the rate of expansion of the trail, we can also determine the upper level temperatures. We typically detect between 2,000 and 20,000 meteors per day, depending on system parameters, time of year, and meteor shower activity. Because of the system design, we can monitor most of the sky simultaneously - hence the system has "all-sky" capability.

Many of the scientific aspects, including antenna layout and design, development of the combined interferometric/Doppler all-sky capability, and temperature determinations, were developed by Mardoc Inc., while Genesis has attended to the electronic and data-acquisition capabilities. The system can also measure the speeds at which meteors enter the atmosphere (another Mardoc innovation), an important additional parameter for astronomical applications. It can also determine the source radiants of meteor showers.

Many examples of the products produced by this radar are shown in the attached gallery (see the tablet to the left). In addition, the web site at Leonids-by-radar shows some of the most extensive radar astronomical studies of the Leonids meteor storms of recent years, while the site of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Kuhlungsborne, Germany (click on a date in the column on the left-hand-side when you access the site) shows typical atmospheric data updated on a daily basis. The SKiYMET system has been compared to other instruments world-wide to determine the accuracy of its results, including comparisons with lidars, optical imagers, and other radars. For simplicity of installation, variety in acquired parameters, continuity of operation, and reliability, the SKiYMET radar would rank as one of the best and most versatile of all instruments for atmospheric and astronomical measurements.

Web page creation and design by David Hocking