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Marked Point Process Models of Raindrop-Size Distributions

James A. SmithDepartment of Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

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Abstract

The principal process considered in this paper is the flux of raindrops through a volume of the atmosphere. This process is of fundamental importance for a wide variety of engineering and environmental problems, notably remote sensing of precipitation, infiltration of rainfall, soil erosion, atmospheric deposition of pollutants, and design of microwave communication systems. A marked point process model is developed in which the point process represents the arrival times of drops at the upper surface of a sample volume and the mark associated with a drop is its diameter. In the model, both the rate of occurrence of raindrops and the distribution of drop diameters vary randomly over time. Results that relate the drop-size distribution within the sample volume to the probability low of the drop-arrival process are presented. These results allow straightforward comparisons between temporal characterizations of drop-size distributions and spatial characterizations. Representations for derived processes such as rainfall rate and reflectivity are shown to be quite accurate using raindrop data from North Carolina.

Abstract

The principal process considered in this paper is the flux of raindrops through a volume of the atmosphere. This process is of fundamental importance for a wide variety of engineering and environmental problems, notably remote sensing of precipitation, infiltration of rainfall, soil erosion, atmospheric deposition of pollutants, and design of microwave communication systems. A marked point process model is developed in which the point process represents the arrival times of drops at the upper surface of a sample volume and the mark associated with a drop is its diameter. In the model, both the rate of occurrence of raindrops and the distribution of drop diameters vary randomly over time. Results that relate the drop-size distribution within the sample volume to the probability low of the drop-arrival process are presented. These results allow straightforward comparisons between temporal characterizations of drop-size distributions and spatial characterizations. Representations for derived processes such as rainfall rate and reflectivity are shown to be quite accurate using raindrop data from North Carolina.

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