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Earl E. Gossard
,
Daniel E. Wolfe
, and
B. Boba Stankov

Abstract

Bragg backscatter of radar waves from elevated turbulent layers is very highly correlated with the height profile of the gradient of radio refractive index through elevated turbulent layers, as has often been documented in past research. However, many users need profiles of radio refractive index or the associated humidity rather than profiles of their gradients. Simple integration of the gradients is usually not feasible because clutter and various noise sources often severely contaminate the lower-range gates. The authors show that if the total integrated humidity is independently available [for example, from the Global Positioning System (GPS)] and if the surface value of humidity is known, the profiles of humidity are retrievable with good accuracy. This method is demonstrated with data collected in Southern California, where 7 h of 449-MHz data were recorded along with GPS data. Three radiosonde balloons were launched during that period, and the profiles of humidity from the two sources are compared. Simulations are used to assess errors that result from factors such as lack of the sign of the humidity gradients. In conclusion, a humidity profile found by statistical retrieval is compared with one found by the technique proposed in this paper.

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Earl E. Gossard
,
Russell B. Chadwick
,
Thomas R. Detman
, and
John Gaynor

Abstract

Radars and acoustic sounding systems sense properties of the turbulence structure of the atmosphere. If atmospheric turbulence can be related to the mean gradient parameters, Doppler radars and acoustic sounders can provide information about height profiles of quantities such as temperature and refractive index as well as wind in stable regions of the atmosphere. In this paper turbulent and mean quantities were measured on the 300 m meteorological tower at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory near Erie, Colorado, and the relationships between the turbulent and mean gradient quantities were examined in order to evaluate hypotheses for simplifying the kinetic energy balance and refractive index variance equations. FM-CW radar measurements of backscattered power and Doppler spectral width were also made for comparison with tower-measured refractive index spectra and Doppler velocity spectra. Height distributions of the turbulent dissipation rate within stable layers are shown and viscous cutoff radar wavelengths calculated.

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B. Boba Stankov
,
Earl E. Gossard
,
Bob L. Weber
,
Richard J. Lataitis
,
Allen B. White
,
Daniel E. Wolfe
,
David C. Welsh
, and
Richard G. Strauch

Abstract

An algorithm to compute the magnitude of humidity gradient profiles from the measurements of the zeroth, first, and second moments of wind profiling radar (WPR) Doppler spectra was developed and tested. The algorithm extends the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL) Advanced Signal Processing System (SPS), which provides quality control of radar data in the spectral domain for wind profile retrievals, to include the retrieval of humidity gradient profiles. The algorithm uses a recently developed approximate formula for correcting Doppler spectral widths for the spatial and temporal filtering effects. Data collected by a 3-beam 915-MHz WPR onboard the NOAA research vessel Ronald H. Brown (RHB) and a 5-beam 449-MHz WPR developed at the ETL were used in this study. The two datasets cover vastly different atmospheric conditions, with the 915-MHz shipborne system probing the tropical ocean atmosphere and the 449-MHz WPR probing continental winter upslope icing storm in the Colorado Front Range. Vaisala radiosonde measurements of humidity and temperature profiles on board the RHB and the standard National Weather Service (NWS) radiosonde measurements at Stapleton, Colorado, were used for comparisons. The cases chosen represent typical atmospheric conditions and not special atmospheric situations. Results show that using SPS-obtained measurements of the zeroth, first, and second spectral moments provide radar-obtained humidity gradient profiles up to 3 km AGL.

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