23 Aug 2022
23 Aug 2022

RF-interference detection and mitigation in the DWD C-Band weather radar network

Maximilian Schaper1, Michael Frech1, David Michaelis2, Cornelius Hald1, and Benjamin Rohrdantz2 Maximilian Schaper et al.
  • 1Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteorologisches Observatorium, Albin-Schwaiger-Weg 10, 82383 Hohenpeissenberg, Germany
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst, Niederlassung Hamburg Sasel, Frahmredder 95, 22393 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. C-Band weather radar data are commonly compromised by interference from external sources even though weather radars are the primary and therefore privileged user of this frequency band. This is also the case for the radar network of the German Weather Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD). Theoretically, dynamic frequency stepping (DFS) by devices operating in the C-Band should prevent any disturbance of the primary user. In practice, this does not always work as intended by the current regulations. As it is not possible to separate a superimposed interference signal from measured weather radar data, the protection of the frequency band is of utmost importance. Currently the only available option is to discard the compromised portions of the radar data. Therefore, the current best course of action is to shut down interference (RFI) sources as fast as possible. The automated RFI detection algorithm for the German C-Band weather radar network is operational since July 2017, which makes use of routinely measured radar moments. Built upon the data gathered since 2017, an RFI classification with respect to the severity and duration of RFIs was first implemented in 2019. An independent verification of the RFI detection algorithm was performed by using a commercially available WIFI adapter, which is directly integrated into the radar receiver. Subsequently, a mitigation workflow was implemented to efficiently identify and shut down detected RFI sources by the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). By following this workflow with great effort, the number of persistent RFIs is decreasing since October 2019 while a steady increase in short lived RFIs over the last 5 years exists. In total, 11889 RFIs have been identified since July 2017 until May 2022. The majority of these (94.8 %) are so short lived that an unambiguous identification by the BNetzA is, in general, not feasible. However, as stated by the C-Band regulations, any non-compliant transmitter compromising the operation of a weather radar has to be shut down. This is important, as even these short lived RFIs negatively affect the meteorological product generation.

Maximilian Schaper et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-692', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Sep 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Maximilian Schaper, 30 Sep 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-692', Anonymous Referee #2, 23 Sep 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Maximilian Schaper, 30 Sep 2022

Maximilian Schaper et al.

Maximilian Schaper et al.


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Short summary
C-Band weather radar data are commonly compromised by interference (RFI) from external sources. It is not possible to separate a superimposed interference signal from the measured radar data. Therefore, the best course of action is to shut down RFI sources as fast as possible. An automated RFI detection algorithm was developed and is presented. Since its implementation, persistent RFIs are eliminated much faster, while the number of short lived RFIs keeps steadily increasing over the years.