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mGEODAR—A Mobile Radar System for Detection and Monitoring of Gravitational Mass-Movements

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Anselm Kohler
  • Lai Bun Lok
  • Simon Felbermayr
  • Nial Peters
  • Paul V. Brennan
  • Jan-Thomas Fischer
Article number6673
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/11/2020
Issue number21
Number of pages15
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Radar measurements of gravitational mass-movements like snow avalanches have become increasingly important for scientific flow observations, real-time detection and monitoring. Independence of visibility is a main advantage for rapid and reliable detection of those events, and achievable high-resolution imaging proves invaluable for scientific measurements of the complete flow evolution. Existing radar systems are made for either detection with low resolution or they are large devices and permanently installed at test-sites. We present mGEODAR, a mobile FMCW (frequency modulated continuous wave) radar system for high-resolution measurements and low-resolution gravitational mass-movement detection and monitoring purposes due to a versatile frequency generation scheme. We optimize the performance of different frequency settings with loop cable measurements and show the freespace range sensitivity with data of a car as moving point source. About 15 dB signal-to-noise ratio is achieved for the cable test and about 5 dB or 10 dB for the car in detection and research mode, respectively. By combining continuous recording in the low resolution detection mode with real-time triggering of the high resolution research mode,
we expect that mGEODAR enables autonomous measurement campaigns for infrastructure safety and mass-movement research purposes in rapid response to changing weather and snow conditions.