Articles | Volume 4, issue 10
Research article
14 Oct 2011
Research article |  | 14 Oct 2011

Towards the improvement of cloud microphysical retrievals using simultaneous Doppler and polarimetric radar measurements

Y. Dufournet and H. W. J. Russchenberg

Abstract. Radar-based retrievals are often employed to characterize the microphysical properties of cloud hydrometeors, i.e. their phases, habits, densities as well as their respective size and orientation distributions. These techniques are based on a synergetic use of different cloud observation sensor(s) and microphysical model(s) where the information extracted from both sensors and models is combined and converted into microphysical cloud properties. However, the amount of available information is often limited, which forces current microphysical retrieval techniques to base their algorithms on several microphysical assumptions which affect the retrieval accuracy.

By simultaneously combining Doppler and polarimetric measurements obtained from fully Doppler polarimetric radars, it is possible to create spectral polarimetric parameters. Although these parameters are easily contaminated with unwanted echoes, this work shows that, from a correct radar signal processing based on filtering and averaging techniques, spectral polarimetric parameters can be correlated to microphysical cloud properties. In particular, preliminary results suggest that particle orientations and habits can be determined from the sole use of such spectral polarimetric parameters. Therefore, such additional spectral polarimetric information offers an opportunity to improve current microphysical retrievals by reducing the number of microphysical assumptions in them.