Articles | Volume 15, issue 22
Research article
17 Nov 2022
Research article |  | 17 Nov 2022

A comparative evaluation of snowflake particle shape estimation techniques used by the Precipitation Imaging Package (PIP), Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC), and Two-Dimensional Video Disdrometer (2DVD)

Charles Nelson Helms, Stephen Joseph Munchak, Ali Tokay, and Claire Pettersen

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Cited articles

Bliven, L.: GPM Ground Validation Precipitation Imaging Package (PIP) ICE POP V1, NASA Global Hydrology Resource Center DAAC [data set], Huntsville, Alabama, USA,, 2020. a
Fitzgibbon, A. W. and Fisher, R. B.: A Buyer's Guide to Conic Fitting, in: Proceedings of the British Machine Vision Conference, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, 11–14 September 1995, BMVA Press, pp. 513–522,, 1995. a
Garrett, T. J., Fallgatter, C., Shkurko, K., and Howlett, D.: Fall speed measurement and high-resolution multi-angle photography of hydrometeors in free fall, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2625–2633,, 2012. a, b, c
Heymsfield, A. J. and Westbrook, C. D.: Advances in the estimation of ice particle fall speeds using laboratory and field measurements, J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 2469–2482,, 2010. a
Huang, G.-J., Bringi, V. N., Cifelli, R., Hudak, D., and Petersen, W. A.: A methodology to derive radar reflectivity-liquid equivalent snow rate relations using C-band radar and a 2D video disdrometer, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 27, 637–651,, 2010. a
Short summary
This study compares the techniques used to measure snowflake shape by three instruments: PIP, MASC, and 2DVD. Our findings indicate that the MASC technique produces reliable shape measurements; the 2DVD technique performs better than expected considering the instrument was designed to measure raindrops; and the PIP technique does not produce reliable snowflake shape measurements. We also demonstrate that the PIP images can be reprocessed to correct the shape measurement issues.