MIRA-10 is a vertically pointing X-band radar specifically designed for the collection of high-quality radar Doppler spectra and moments of liquid and frozen hydrometeors. It uses a solid state amplifier for transmitting and operates either in pulse mode or in pulse compression mode. These modes can be chosen by the user depending on the required sensitivity, range resolution and lowest useable range gate.
In pulse mode it transmits pulses with a pulse length from 100 to 400 ns corresponding to a range resolution of 15 to 60 m. In pulse compression mode MIRA-10 transmits longer frequency modulated pulses. As the peak transmitting power is limited for the solid state amplifier used in the transmitter and the pulse repetition rate (PRF) is limited for preventing second trip echoes the average transmitting power and with it the sensitivity can only be increased by increasing the pulse length. By modulating the transmitted signal and correlating the receiving signal with the transmitted chirp, a higher sensitivity is achieved while the range resolution is retained. For generating the frequency modulated transmitting pulse MIRA-10 uses a Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS).
The extraordinary system sensitivity of the cloud radar MIRA-10 and MIRA-35 and its compact version MIRA-35C allows profiling of all cloud types in the troposphere including thin fog layers and arctic cirrus.