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Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 159; doi:10.3390/atmos7120159

Feasibility Study of Rain Rate Monitoring from Polarimetric GNSS Propagation Parameters

College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 211101, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 6 December 2016
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In this work, the feasibility of estimating rain rate based on polarimetric Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals is explored in theory. After analyzing the cause of polarimetric signals, three physical-mathematical relation models between co-polar phase shift (KHH, KVV), specific differential phase shift (KDP), and rain rate (R) are respectively investigated. These relation models are simulated based on four different empirical equations of nonspherical raindrops and simulated Gamma raindrop size distribution. They are also respectively analyzed based on realistic Gamma raindrop size distribution and maximum diameter of raindrops under three different rain types: stratiform rain, cumuliform rain, and mixed clouds rain. The sensitivity of phase shift with respect to some main influencing factors, such as shape of raindrops, frequency, as well as elevation angle, is also discussed, respectively. The numerical results in this study show that the results by scattering algorithms T-matrix are consistent with those from Rayleigh Scattering Approximation. It reveals that they all have the possibility to estimate rain rate using the KHH-R, KVV-R or KDP-R relation. It can also be found that the three models are all affected by shape of raindrops and frequency, while the elevation angle has no effect on KHH-R. Finally, higher frequency L1 or B1 and lower elevation angle are recommended and microscopic characteristics of raindrops, such as shape and size distribution, are deemed to be important and required for further consideration in future experiments. Since phase shift is not affected by attenuation and not biased by ground clutter cancellers, this method has considerable potential in precipitation monitoring, which provides new opportunities for atmospheric research. View Full-Text
Keywords: rain rate; GNSS signals; co-polar phase shift; specific differential phase shift; T-matrix; sensitivity analysis rain rate; GNSS signals; co-polar phase shift; specific differential phase shift; T-matrix; sensitivity analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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An, H.; Yan, W.; Huang, Y.; Zhao, X.; Wang, Y.; Ai, W. Feasibility Study of Rain Rate Monitoring from Polarimetric GNSS Propagation Parameters. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 159.

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