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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111142

Similarities and Improvements of GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) upon TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) in Global Precipitation Rate Estimation, Type Classification and Vertical Profiling

1
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract

Spaceborne precipitation radars are powerful tools used to acquire adequate and high-quality precipitation estimates with high spatial resolution for a variety of applications in hydrological research. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, which deployed the first spaceborne Ka- and Ku-dual frequency radar (DPR), was launched in February 2014 as the upgraded successor of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). This study matches the swath data of TRMM PR and GPM DPR Level 2 products during their overlapping periods at the global scale to investigate their similarities and DPR’s improvements concerning precipitation amount estimation and type classification of GPM DPR over TRMM PR. Results show that PR and DPR agree very well with each other in the global distribution of precipitation, while DPR improves the detectability of precipitation events significantly, particularly for light precipitation. The occurrences of total precipitation and the light precipitation (rain rates < 1 mm/h) detected by GPM DPR are ~1.7 and ~2.53 times more than that of PR. With regard to type classification, the dual-frequency (Ka/Ku) and single frequency (Ku) methods performed similarly. In both inner (the central 25 beams) and outer swaths (1–12 beams and 38–49 beams) of DPR, the results are consistent. GPM DPR improves precipitation type classification remarkably, reducing the misclassification of clouds and noise signals as precipitation type “other” from 10.14% of TRMM PR to 0.5%. Generally, GPM DPR exhibits the same type division for around 82.89% (71.02%) of stratiform (convective) precipitation events recognized by TRMM PR. With regard to the freezing level height and bright band (BB) height, both radars correspond with each other very well, contributing to the consistency in stratiform precipitation classification. Both heights show clear latitudinal dependence. Results in this study shall contribute to future development of spaceborne radar precipitation retrievals and benefit hydrological and meteorological research. View Full-Text
Keywords: TRMM PR; GPM DPR; precipitation; rain type; global comparison TRMM PR; GPM DPR; precipitation; rain type; global comparison
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Gao, J.; Tang, G.; Hong, Y. Similarities and Improvements of GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) upon TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) in Global Precipitation Rate Estimation, Type Classification and Vertical Profiling. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1142.

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