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Effects of Melting Layer in Airborne Meteorological X-Band Radar Observations

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3 Author(s)
Pujol, O. ; Lab. d''Opt. Atmospherique, Univ. of Lille 1, Villeneuve-d''Ascq, France ; Mesnard, F. ; Sauvageot, H.

Most civil aviation aircraft are equipped with meteorological radar working at the X-band (f ≈ 10 GHz; λ ≈ 3.2 cm) . These radars use a small antenna and, thus, a large beamwidth, around 3°-4°, for observations over long distances (up to 350 km). In the presence of microphysical inhomogeneities inside a radar sampling volume, as filling by different hydrometeor categories, radar reflectivity measurements are biased. An important bias occurs when a radar cell is cut by a nonresolved layer of melting snowflakes whose attenuation is high compared to those of rain and dry snow. This paper illustrates the effects in precipitation-attenuation correction schemes (PACS) of the inhomogeneity associated with the 0 °C isotherm. It proposes a method to take into account these effects in PACS. Adaptation of the method to other frequency bands and ground-based radar observations is easy.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 6 )