Radar Specifications

Operating Frequency 36.170 MHz
Peak Power 8 - 32 kW
Pulse Width 1 - 200 us
Pulse Repetition Frequency 1 Hz to 50 kHz
Transmit Antenna One circularly polarized,
2-element crossed-dipole
Receive Antennas Five circularly polarized,
2-element crossed-dipoles

The University of Colorado Boulder's Antarctic Meteor Radar was installed at McMurdo Antarctica in the 2017/2018 summer season. The instrument is a SKiYMET-type radar built by Genesis Software Inc. of Adelaide, Australia, jointly developed with MARDOC Inc.

Radio reflections from underdense meteor trials give important information about the meteors themselves, the upper atmosphere, and the near-space environment. This instrument can be used for meteor astronomy (flux rates, orbital statistics, shower source radiants), space research and debris assessment, and atmospheric physics (winds, temperature, diffusion, and climate impacts).

Array Location


The instrument array consists of a single 2-element crossed-dipole antenna transmitting (TX) antenna, and an array of five 2-element crossed-dipole receiving (RX) antennas. The transmitting antenna has a wide-beam, all-sky illumination pattern. The RX antennas form an interferometric array from which the unambiguous angle-of-arrival can be determined from phase differences of the received signal between each antenna.

The site is located between McMurdo Station and Scott Base, overlooking McMurdo Sound. It operates autonomously 24 hours per day, year-round.

McMurdo Meteor Radar

Antarctic Meteor Radar