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Refractivity Retrieval Using the Phased-Array Radar: First Results and Potential for Multimission Operation

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6 Author(s)
Boon Leng Cheong ; Sch. of Meteorol., Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK ; Palmer, R.D. ; Curtis, C.D. ; Tian-You Yu
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In this paper, an investigation of the potential of rapid refractivity retrieval is presented. The retrieval technique utilizes radar phase measurements of ground clutter to derive near-surface refractivity, which has been commonly used as a proxy for humidity, given its close relation to vapor pressure. Surface humidity is an important meteorological parameter and has been known to play an important role in convective initiation. In this paper, the refractivity retrieval technique is exploited by using smaller numbers of samples for phase calculation, which is a fundamental process in refractivity retrieval. The impetus for this paper is to explore the possibility of rapid refractivity retrieval by exploiting the rapid beam-steering capability of a phased-array radar. Using the National Weather Radar Testbed in Norman, OK, a 64-pulse per radial raw-data set was collected for conventional refractivity processing. Then, subsets of the 64 samples were extracted to emulate shorter dwell periods and the corresponding more rapid experiments. The test cases that were considered are 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 samples. Refractivity fields retrieved using smaller numbers of samples are compared against the reference field, which was obtained using the entire 64-sample data set. It will be shown that, statistically, significant refractivity fields can be obtained from as short as a two-sample dwell.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 9 )