A New Approach to Estimating Rainwater Content by Radar Using Propagation Differential Phase Shift

View More View Less
  • 1 Applied Research Corporation, Landover, Maryland
  • | 2 Department of Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

As microwaves propagate through rain, the rate of phase change with increasing distance is different depending upon whether the transmissions are polarized horizontally or vertically. This rate of change is the so-called specific propagation differential phase shift ΦDP. This paper demonstrates that at several frequencies and over a wide domain the ratio of ΦDP to the rainwater content W is nearly linearly related to Dm, the mass-weighted mean drop size. An investigation of errors indicates that this new approach is likely to yield more accurate estimates of W than the other classical reflectivity factor Z, attenuation, or polarization techniques. The most accurate estimates of W are most likely at the highest frequency considered, 13.80 GHz.

In lieu of such high-frequency measurements, these somewhat esoteric results are made more concrete through an analysis of 3-GHz radar measurements collected during the Convection and Precipitation Experiment in a tropical rainstorm in Florida. Among the principle advantages of using ΦDP to measure rain are that an absolute calibration of the radar is no longer required and the estimates are decoupled from measurements of the radar reflectivity factor. Consequently, temporal and spatial structures of rain estimates do not simply mimic those of the reflectivity factor, as happens for classical estimation techniques using Z.

Abstract

As microwaves propagate through rain, the rate of phase change with increasing distance is different depending upon whether the transmissions are polarized horizontally or vertically. This rate of change is the so-called specific propagation differential phase shift ΦDP. This paper demonstrates that at several frequencies and over a wide domain the ratio of ΦDP to the rainwater content W is nearly linearly related to Dm, the mass-weighted mean drop size. An investigation of errors indicates that this new approach is likely to yield more accurate estimates of W than the other classical reflectivity factor Z, attenuation, or polarization techniques. The most accurate estimates of W are most likely at the highest frequency considered, 13.80 GHz.

In lieu of such high-frequency measurements, these somewhat esoteric results are made more concrete through an analysis of 3-GHz radar measurements collected during the Convection and Precipitation Experiment in a tropical rainstorm in Florida. Among the principle advantages of using ΦDP to measure rain are that an absolute calibration of the radar is no longer required and the estimates are decoupled from measurements of the radar reflectivity factor. Consequently, temporal and spatial structures of rain estimates do not simply mimic those of the reflectivity factor, as happens for classical estimation techniques using Z.

Save