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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-2019-14
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-14
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Feb 2019

Research article | 11 Feb 2019

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

Evaluation of differential absorption radars in the 183 GHz band for profiling water vapour in ice clouds

Alessandro Battaglia1,2 and Pavlos Kollias3,4 Alessandro Battaglia and Pavlos Kollias
  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 2National Centre for Earth Observation, UK
  • 3Stony Brook University, NY, USA
  • 4University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Abstract. Relative humidity (RH) measurements in ice clouds are essential for determining the ice crystals growth processes and rates. A differential absorption radar (DAR) system with several frequency channels within the 183.3 GHz water vapour absorption band is proposed for measuring RH within ice clouds. Here, the performance of a DAR system is evaluated by applying a DAR simulator to A-Train observations in combination with collocated European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis. Observations from the CloudSat W-band radar and from the CALIPSO lidar are converted first into ice microphysical properties and then coupled with ECMWF temperature and relative humidity profiles in order to compute scattering properties at any frequency within the 183.3 GHz band. Self-similar Rayleigh Gans approximation is used to model the ice crystal scattering properties. The radar reflectivities are computed both for a space-borne and a ground-based DAR system by using appropriate radar receiver characteristics. Sets of multi-frequency synthetic observation of attenuated reflectivities are then used to retrieve profile of water vapour density by fitting the line shape at different levels. 10 days of A-Train observations are used to test the measurement technique performance for different combination of tones when sampling ice clouds globally. Results show that that water vapour densities can be derived with accuracies that can enable ice process studies (i.e. better than 3 %) both from a ground-based system (at the minute temporal scale and with circa 100 m vertical resolution) and from a space/airborne system (at 500 m vertical resolution and with circa 5 km integration lengths) with four tones in the right wing of the absorption line. A ground-based DAR system to be deployed at high latitude/high altitudes is highly recommended to test the findings of this work in the field.

Alessandro Battaglia and Pavlos Kollias
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Status: open (until 08 Apr 2019)
Status: open (until 08 Apr 2019)
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Alessandro Battaglia and Pavlos Kollias
Alessandro Battaglia and Pavlos Kollias
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Latest update: 22 Feb 2019
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Short summary
This work investigates the potential of an innovative differential absorption radar in retrieving relative humidity inside ice clouds. The radar exploits the strong spectral dependence of the water vapour absorption for frequency close to the 183 GHz water vapour band. Results show that observations from a system with 4–6 frequencies can provide novel information for understanding the formation and growth of ice crystals.
This work investigates the potential of an innovative differential absorption radar in...
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