The EDOP Radar System on the High-Altitude NASA ER-2 Aircraft

Gerald M. Heymsfield * Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Steven W. Bidwell * Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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I. Jeff Caylor Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland

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Syed Ameen Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland

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Shaun Nicholson TRW, Redondo Beach, California

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Wayne Boncyk USGS, Eros Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Lee Miller Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

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Doug Vandemark ** Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia

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Paul E. Racette * Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Louis R. Dod Swales, Inc., Beltsville, Maryland

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Abstract

The NASA ER-2 high-altitude (20 km) aircraft that emulates a satellite view of precipitation systems carries a variety of passive and active (lidar) remote sensing instruments. A new Doppler weather radar system at X band (9.6 GHz) called the ER-2 Doppler radar (EDOP) has been developed and flown on the ER-2 aircraft. EDOP is a fully coherent Doppler weather radar with fixed nadir and forward pointing (33° off nadir) beams that map out Doppler winds and reflectivities in the vertical plane along the aircraft motion vector. Doppler winds from the two beams can be used to derive vertical and along-track air motions. In addition, the forward beam provides linear depolarization measurements that are useful in discriminating microphysical characteristics of the precipitation. This paper deals with a general description of the EDOP instrument including the measurement concept, the system configuration and hardware, and recently obtained data examples from the instrument. The combined remote sensing package on the ER-2, along with EDOP, provides a unique platform for simulating spaceborne remote sensing of precipitation.

Abstract

The NASA ER-2 high-altitude (20 km) aircraft that emulates a satellite view of precipitation systems carries a variety of passive and active (lidar) remote sensing instruments. A new Doppler weather radar system at X band (9.6 GHz) called the ER-2 Doppler radar (EDOP) has been developed and flown on the ER-2 aircraft. EDOP is a fully coherent Doppler weather radar with fixed nadir and forward pointing (33° off nadir) beams that map out Doppler winds and reflectivities in the vertical plane along the aircraft motion vector. Doppler winds from the two beams can be used to derive vertical and along-track air motions. In addition, the forward beam provides linear depolarization measurements that are useful in discriminating microphysical characteristics of the precipitation. This paper deals with a general description of the EDOP instrument including the measurement concept, the system configuration and hardware, and recently obtained data examples from the instrument. The combined remote sensing package on the ER-2, along with EDOP, provides a unique platform for simulating spaceborne remote sensing of precipitation.

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