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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(11), 1773;

Cross-Validation of Observations between the GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar and Ground Based Dual-Polarization Radars

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Precipitation)
PDF [4300 KB, uploaded 9 November 2018]


The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory is equipped with a dual-frequency precipitation radar (DPR) with capability of measuring precipitation simultaneously at frequencies of 13.6 GHz (Ku-band) and 35.5 GHz (Ka-band). Since the GPM-DPR cannot use information from polarization diversity, radar reflectivity factor is the most important parameter used in all retrievals. In this study, GPM’s observations of reflectivity at dual-frequency and instantaneous rainfall products are compared quantitatively against dual-polarization ground-based NEXRAD radars from the GPM Validation Network (VN). The ground radars, chosen for this study, are located in the southeastern plains of the U.S.A. with altitudes varying from 5 to 210 m. It is a challenging task to quantitatively compare measurements from space-based and ground-based platforms due to their difference in resolution volumes and viewing geometry. To perform comparisons on a point-to-point basis, radar observations need to be volume matched by averaging data in common volume or by re-sampling data to a common grid system. In this study, a 3-D volume matching technique first proposed by Bolen and Chandrasekar (2003) and later modified by Schwaller and Morris (2011) is applied to both radar data. DPR and ground radar observations and products are cross validated against each other with a large data set. Over 250 GPM overpass cases at 5 NEXRAD locations, starting from April 2014 to June 2018, have been considered. Analysis shows that DPR Ku- and Ka-Band reflectivities are well matched with ground radar with correlation coefficient as high as 0.9 for Ku-band and 0.85 for Ka-band. Ground radar calibration is also checked by observing variation in mean biases of reflectivity between DPR and GR over time. DPR rainfall products are also evaluated. Though DPR underestimates higher rainfall rates in convective cases, its overall performance is found to be satisfactory. View Full-Text
Keywords: GPM; DPR; validation network; volume matching; reflectivity; rainfall rate GPM; DPR; validation network; volume matching; reflectivity; rainfall rate

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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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Biswas, S.K.; Chandrasekar, V. Cross-Validation of Observations between the GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar and Ground Based Dual-Polarization Radars. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1773.

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