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Nonparametric Estimation of Raindrop Size Distributions from Dual-Polarization Radar Spectral Observations

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  • 1 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

This paper presents a method to retrieve raindrop size distributions (DSD) from slant profile dual-polarization Doppler spectra observations. It is shown that using radar measurements taken at a high elevation angle raindrop size distributions can be retrieved without making an assumption on the form of a DSD. In this paper it is shown that drop size distributions can be retrieved from Doppler power spectra by compensating for the effect of spectrum broadening and mean velocity shift. To accomplish that, spectrum deconvolution is used where the spectral broadening kernel width and wind velocity are estimated from spectral differential reflectivity measurements. Since convolution kernel is estimated from dual-polarization Doppler spectra observations and does not require observation of a clear-air signal, this method can be used by most radars capable of dual-polarization spectra measurements.

To validate the technique, sensitivity of this method to the underlying assumptions and calibration errors is evaluated on realistic simulations of radar observations. Furthermore, performance of the method is illustrated on Colorado State University–University of Chicago–Illinois State Water Survey radar (CSU–CHILL) measurements of stratiform precipitation.

Corresponding author address: Dmitri N. Moisseev, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: dmitri@engr.colostate.edu

Abstract

This paper presents a method to retrieve raindrop size distributions (DSD) from slant profile dual-polarization Doppler spectra observations. It is shown that using radar measurements taken at a high elevation angle raindrop size distributions can be retrieved without making an assumption on the form of a DSD. In this paper it is shown that drop size distributions can be retrieved from Doppler power spectra by compensating for the effect of spectrum broadening and mean velocity shift. To accomplish that, spectrum deconvolution is used where the spectral broadening kernel width and wind velocity are estimated from spectral differential reflectivity measurements. Since convolution kernel is estimated from dual-polarization Doppler spectra observations and does not require observation of a clear-air signal, this method can be used by most radars capable of dual-polarization spectra measurements.

To validate the technique, sensitivity of this method to the underlying assumptions and calibration errors is evaluated on realistic simulations of radar observations. Furthermore, performance of the method is illustrated on Colorado State University–University of Chicago–Illinois State Water Survey radar (CSU–CHILL) measurements of stratiform precipitation.

Corresponding author address: Dmitri N. Moisseev, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: dmitri@engr.colostate.edu

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