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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-278
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-278
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Nov 2018

Research article | 09 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Simulating precipitation radar observations from a geostationary satellite

Atsushi Okazaki1, Takumi Honda1, Shunji Kotsuki1,2, Moeka Yamaji3, Takuji Kubota3, Riko Oki3, Toshio Iguchi4, and Takemasa Miyoshi1,2,5,6,7 Atsushi Okazaki et al.
  • 1RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Kobe, Japan
  • 2RIKEN interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences Program, Kobe, Japan
  • 3Earth Observation Research Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 4National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Koganei, Japan
  • 5Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland, USA
  • 6Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
  • 7Prediction Science Laboratory, RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, Kobe, Japan

Abstract. Spaceborne precipitation radars, such as the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, have been important platforms to provide a direct measurement of three-dimensional precipitation structure globally. Building upon the success of TRMM and GPM Core Observatory, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is currently surveying the feasibility of a potential satellite mission equipped with a precipitation radar on a geostationary orbit. The quasi-continuous observation realized by the geostationary satellite radar would offer a new insight into meteorology and would advance numerical weather prediction (NWP) through their effective use by data assimilation.

Although the radar would be beneficial, the radar on the geostationary orbit measures precipitation obliquely at off-nadir points. Besides, the observing resolution will be several times larger than those onboard TRMM and GPM Core Observatory due to the limited antenna size that we could deliver. The tilted sampling volume and the coarse resolution would result in more contaminations from the surface clutters. To investigate the impact of these limitations and to explore the potential usefulness of the geostationary satellite radar, this study simulates the observation data for a typhoon case using an NWP model and a radar simulator.

The results demonstrate that it would be possible to obtain three-dimensional precipitation data. However, the quality of the observation depends on the beam width, the beam sampling span, and the position of precipitation systems. With a wide beam width and a coarse beam span, the radar cannot observe weak precipitation at low altitudes due to the surface clutters. The limitation can be mitigated by oversampling (i.e., a wide beam width and a fine sampling span). With a narrow beam width and a fine beam sampling span, the surface clutter interference is confined to the surface level. When the precipitation system is located far from the nadir, the precipitation signal is obtained only for strong precipitation.

Atsushi Okazaki et al.
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Atsushi Okazaki et al.
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Latest update: 18 Dec 2018
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Short summary
The JAXA is now surveying the feasibility of a potential satellite mission equipped with a precipitation radar on a geostationary orbit, as a successor of GPM core observatory. We investigate what kind of observation data will be available from the radar using simulation techniques. Although the quality of the observation depends on the radar specifications and the position of precipitation systems, the results demonstrate that it would be possible to obtain three-dimensional precipitation data.
The JAXA is now surveying the feasibility of a potential satellite mission equipped with a...
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