Preliminary Results from Multiparameter Airborne Rain Radar Measurement in the Western Pacific

Hiroshi Kumagai NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Robert Meneghini NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Toshiaki Kozu National Space Development Agency of Japan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Abstract

Preliminary results are presented from multiparameter airborne radar measurements of tropical storms. The experiment was conducted in the western Pacific in September 1990 with the NASA DC-8 aircraft that was equipped with a dual-wavelength radar at X and Ka bands and several microwave radiometers. The modification to dual-polarization at X-band radar enabled measurements of the linear depolarization ratio (LDR). Vertical profiles of dual-polarization and dual-frequency observables for an example of stratiform rain and three examples of convective rain cells are examined. It is shown that at nadir incidence the LDR measurement often can be used to distinguish the phase states of the hydrometeors and to identify the melting layer. In addition to the information concerning particle shape and orientation from LDR, the ratio of the radar reflectivity factors in two frequency bands (X and Ka bands) provides insight into particle size. The capabilities of dual-wavelength and dual-polarization radar in the identification of particle size and phase will be important considerations in the design of future spaceborne weather radars.

Abstract

Preliminary results are presented from multiparameter airborne radar measurements of tropical storms. The experiment was conducted in the western Pacific in September 1990 with the NASA DC-8 aircraft that was equipped with a dual-wavelength radar at X and Ka bands and several microwave radiometers. The modification to dual-polarization at X-band radar enabled measurements of the linear depolarization ratio (LDR). Vertical profiles of dual-polarization and dual-frequency observables for an example of stratiform rain and three examples of convective rain cells are examined. It is shown that at nadir incidence the LDR measurement often can be used to distinguish the phase states of the hydrometeors and to identify the melting layer. In addition to the information concerning particle shape and orientation from LDR, the ratio of the radar reflectivity factors in two frequency bands (X and Ka bands) provides insight into particle size. The capabilities of dual-wavelength and dual-polarization radar in the identification of particle size and phase will be important considerations in the design of future spaceborne weather radars.

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