All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 112 8 0
PDF Downloads 11 7 0

Using Multiparameter Radar to Estimate the Attenuation and Water Content of Clouds

A. R. JamesonApplied Research Corporation, Landover, Maryland

Search for other papers by A. R. Jameson in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Full access

Abstract

The attenuation of microwaves is caused not only by precipitation but also by clouds. Consequently, the presence of liquid cloud can affect estimates of rainfall rate computed from attenuation and reflectivity factors measured at higher frequencies typically used for spaceborne and airborne radars. Cloud attenuation also affects ground-based radar measurements of rainfall at frequencies as low as 5 GHz.

This paper suggests an approach for determining the attenuation due to cloud (AC) and for estimating the cloud water content (WC) even in moderate rain by using radars operating at two frequencies with one of them capable of dual-linear (horizontal-vertical) polarization measurements. This analysis suggests that useful “instantaneous” estimates of AC and WC should be possible when an upper frequency of 13.8 GHz is used in conjunction with a lower frequency. These measurements could also be used to derive cloud attenuation statistics, potentially useful for developing techniques to help compensate for the effect of cloud attenuation on spaceborne, airborne, and ground-based radar estimates of rainfall.

While this algorithm appears promising, it is particularly challenging to devise approaches to test this technique, not only because the necessary instruments do not yet exist but also because of a lack of a standard for comparison. Although a complete test appears out of reach at this time, it should be possible at least to explore the validity of certain aspects of the technology. One possible approach using measurements over extended volumes is discussed at the end of this paper.

Abstract

The attenuation of microwaves is caused not only by precipitation but also by clouds. Consequently, the presence of liquid cloud can affect estimates of rainfall rate computed from attenuation and reflectivity factors measured at higher frequencies typically used for spaceborne and airborne radars. Cloud attenuation also affects ground-based radar measurements of rainfall at frequencies as low as 5 GHz.

This paper suggests an approach for determining the attenuation due to cloud (AC) and for estimating the cloud water content (WC) even in moderate rain by using radars operating at two frequencies with one of them capable of dual-linear (horizontal-vertical) polarization measurements. This analysis suggests that useful “instantaneous” estimates of AC and WC should be possible when an upper frequency of 13.8 GHz is used in conjunction with a lower frequency. These measurements could also be used to derive cloud attenuation statistics, potentially useful for developing techniques to help compensate for the effect of cloud attenuation on spaceborne, airborne, and ground-based radar estimates of rainfall.

While this algorithm appears promising, it is particularly challenging to devise approaches to test this technique, not only because the necessary instruments do not yet exist but also because of a lack of a standard for comparison. Although a complete test appears out of reach at this time, it should be possible at least to explore the validity of certain aspects of the technology. One possible approach using measurements over extended volumes is discussed at the end of this paper.

Save