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Comparison of Precipitation Observations from a Prototype Space-based Cloud Radar and Ground-based Radars


doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1233-6

  • A prototype space-based cloud radar has been developed and was installed on an airplane to observe a precipitation system over Tianjin, China in July 2010. Ground-based S-band and Ka-band radars were used to examine the observational capability of the prototype. A cross-comparison algorithm between different wavelengths, spatial resolutions and platform radars is presented. The reflectivity biases, correlation coefficients and standard deviations between the radars are analyzed. The equivalent reflectivity bias between the S- and Ka-band radars were simulated with a given raindrop size distribution. The results indicated that reflectivity bias between the S- and Ka-band radars due to scattering properties was less than 5 dB, and for weak precipitation the bias was negligible. The prototype space-based cloud radar was able to measure a reasonable vertical profile of reflectivity, but the reflectivity below an altitude of 1.5 km above ground level was obscured by ground clutter. The measured reflectivity by the prototype space-based cloud radar was approximately 10.9 dB stronger than that by the S-band Doppler radar (SA radar), and 13.7 dB stronger than that by the ground-based cloud radar. The reflectivity measured by the SA radar was 0.4 dB stronger than that by the ground-based cloud radar. This study could provide a method for the quantitative examination of the observation ability for space-based radars.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 November 2012
Manuscript revised: 10 November 2012
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Comparison of Precipitation Observations from a Prototype Space-based Cloud Radar and Ground-based Radars

  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081;State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081;Science and Technology on Milimeter-wave Laboratory, Beijing 100854;National Satellite Meteorological Center, Beijing 100081;Science and Technology on Milimeter-wave Laboratory, Beijing 100854;State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081

Abstract: A prototype space-based cloud radar has been developed and was installed on an airplane to observe a precipitation system over Tianjin, China in July 2010. Ground-based S-band and Ka-band radars were used to examine the observational capability of the prototype. A cross-comparison algorithm between different wavelengths, spatial resolutions and platform radars is presented. The reflectivity biases, correlation coefficients and standard deviations between the radars are analyzed. The equivalent reflectivity bias between the S- and Ka-band radars were simulated with a given raindrop size distribution. The results indicated that reflectivity bias between the S- and Ka-band radars due to scattering properties was less than 5 dB, and for weak precipitation the bias was negligible. The prototype space-based cloud radar was able to measure a reasonable vertical profile of reflectivity, but the reflectivity below an altitude of 1.5 km above ground level was obscured by ground clutter. The measured reflectivity by the prototype space-based cloud radar was approximately 10.9 dB stronger than that by the S-band Doppler radar (SA radar), and 13.7 dB stronger than that by the ground-based cloud radar. The reflectivity measured by the SA radar was 0.4 dB stronger than that by the ground-based cloud radar. This study could provide a method for the quantitative examination of the observation ability for space-based radars.

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