A Review of Microbursts and Their Analysis and Detection with Doppler Radar.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Microbursts are small downbursts, less than 4km in outflow size, with peak winds lasting only 2 to 5 minutes. They can be classified as either midair or surface microbursts and also either wet or dry microbursts. All microbursts are characterized by a vertical downrush of air with a divergent outflow at its base. The parent clouds associated with microbursts are Cumulonimbus Towering Cumulus and Anvil Cirrus. Most origin theories credit thermodynamic factors with microburst creation. Wolfson 1983 contends that microbursts result from dynamically induced vertical pressure gradients that are intrinsic characteristics of strong mesocyclone circulation. Doppler radar is the primary tool for detecting and observing microbursts. Wind field mapping is accomplished by either a single, dual or triple radar configuration. Single radar analysis methods require the most external assumptions but are the least expensive. Multiple radar techniques provide more accuracy but are more costly. Wilson and Roberts 1983 propose a number of alternatives for realtime operational detection of microbursts in an airport environment. Of these alternatives they chose a single radar, on airport configuration as the optimum choice when considering economic feasibility as well as technical performance. Author
- Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment