Radar Detection of Individual Raindrops
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Descriptions of the experimental design and research highlights obtained from a series of four multiagency field projects held near Cape Canaveral, Florida, are presented. The experiments featured a 3 MW, dual-polarization, C-band Doppler radar that serves in a dual capacity as both a precipitation and cloud radar. This duality stems from a combination of the radars high sensitivity and extremely small-resolution volumes produced by the narrow 0.22 degrees beamwidth and the 0.543 m along-range resolution. Experimental highlights focus on the radars real-time aircraft tracking capability as well as the finescale reflectivity and eddy structure of a thin nonprecipitating stratus layer. Examples of precipitating storm systems focus on the analysis of the distinctive and nearly linear radar reflectivity signatures referred to as streaks that are caused as individual hydrometeors traverse the narrow radar beam. Each streak leaves a unique radar reflectivity signature that is analyzed with regard to estimating the underlying particle properties such as size, fall speed, and oscillation characteristics. The observed along-streak reflectivity oscillations are complex and discussed in terms of diameter-dependent drop dynamics oscillation frequency and viscous damping time scales as well as radar-dependent factors governing the near-field Fresnel radiation pattern and inferred drop-drop interference.