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Radar Super Resolution Using a Deep Convolutional Neural Network

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  • 1 Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington
  • 2 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

Super resolution involves synthetically increasing the resolution of gridded data beyond their native resolution. Typically, this is done using interpolation schemes, which estimate sub-grid-scale values from neighboring data, and perform the same operation everywhere regardless of the large-scale context, or by requiring a network of radars with overlapping fields of view. Recently, significant progress has been made in single-image super resolution using convolutional neural networks. Conceptually, a neural network may be able to learn relations between large-scale precipitation features and the associated sub-pixel-scale variability and outperform interpolation schemes. Here, we use a deep convolutional neural network to artificially enhance the resolution of NEXRAD PPI scans. The model is trained on 6 months of reflectivity observations from the Langley Hill, Washington, radar (KLGX), and we find that it substantially outperforms common interpolation schemes for 4× and 8× resolution increases based on several objective error and perceptual quality metrics.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-20-0074.s1.

© 2020 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Andrew Geiss, avgeiss@gmail.com

Abstract

Super resolution involves synthetically increasing the resolution of gridded data beyond their native resolution. Typically, this is done using interpolation schemes, which estimate sub-grid-scale values from neighboring data, and perform the same operation everywhere regardless of the large-scale context, or by requiring a network of radars with overlapping fields of view. Recently, significant progress has been made in single-image super resolution using convolutional neural networks. Conceptually, a neural network may be able to learn relations between large-scale precipitation features and the associated sub-pixel-scale variability and outperform interpolation schemes. Here, we use a deep convolutional neural network to artificially enhance the resolution of NEXRAD PPI scans. The model is trained on 6 months of reflectivity observations from the Langley Hill, Washington, radar (KLGX), and we find that it substantially outperforms common interpolation schemes for 4× and 8× resolution increases based on several objective error and perceptual quality metrics.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-20-0074.s1.

© 2020 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Andrew Geiss, avgeiss@gmail.com
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