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Atmosphere 2016, 7(8), 101; doi:10.3390/atmos7080101

GNSS Measurement of Rain Rate by Polarimetric Phase Shift: Theoretical Analysis

1
College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 211101, China
2
School of Science, PLA Information Engineering University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Talbot
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
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Abstract

In this paper, a novel method for rain rate estimation is researched by polarimetric phase shift of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The physical process of GNSS signals propagating through rain-filled medium is investigated, by which the cause of polarimetric phase shift is explored. Then, a theoretical model between polarimetric phase shift Δ ϕ and rain rate R is established and simulated, which is based on the oblate spheroid raindrop model, four different popular raindrop size distribution models and raindrop canting angle distribution across the Space-Earth rain path. Additionally, effects of raindrop size distribution, rain path length, raindrop canting angle and temperature on the Δ ϕ -R relation are discussed systematically. Other factors in the slant path such as ice crystals, melting particles and ionosphere are also researched preliminarily. The results show that polarimetric phase shift of GNSS signals, which has a strong correlation with rain rate, can be used to estimate the rain rate, and these influencing factors, raindrop size distribution, rain path length, raindrop canting angle and temperature, are quite important in the process of rain rate measurement. It can be also found that the effect of ice crystals can be negligible, while that of melting particles should be considered, and though ionosphere effects are not obvious, the ionospheric anomalies cannot be neglected in future experiments. This method has potential applications in real-time, continuous, extreme precipitation reconnaissance and numerical weather prediction. View Full-Text
Keywords: rain; microwave scattering; GNSS; polarimetric phase shift; raindrop canting angle; ice crystals; melting particles; ionosphere rain; microwave scattering; GNSS; polarimetric phase shift; raindrop canting angle; ice crystals; melting particles; ionosphere
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

An, H.; Yan, W.; Huang, Y.; Ai, W.; Wang, Y.; Zhao, X.; Huang, X. GNSS Measurement of Rain Rate by Polarimetric Phase Shift: Theoretical Analysis. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 101.

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