Cloud ice crystal classification using a 95-GHz polarimetric radar

Kultegin Aydin, J. Singh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Scopus citations


    Two algorithms are presented for ice crystal classification using 95-GHz polarimetric radar observables and air temperature (T). Both are based on a fuzzy logic scheme. Ice crystals are classified as columnar crystals (CC), planar crystals (PC), mixtures of PC and small- to medium-sized aggregates and/or lightly to moderately rimed PC (PSAR), medium- to large-sized aggregates of PC, or densely rimed PC, or graupel-like snow or small lumpy graupel (PLARG), and graupel larger than about 2 mm (G). The 1D algorithm makes use of Zh, Z dr, LDRhv, and T, while the 2D algorithm incorporates the three radar observables in pairs, (Zdr, Z h), (LDRhv, Zh), and (Z dr, LDRhv), plus the temperature T. The range of values for each observable or pair of observables is derived from extensive modeling studies conducted earlier. The algorithms are tested using side-looking radar measurements from an aircraft, which was also equipped with particle probes producing simultaneous and nearly collocated shadow images of cloud ice crystals. The classification results from both algorithms agreed very well with the particle images. The two algorithms were in agreement by 89% in one case and 97% in the remaining three cases considered here. The most effective observable in the 1D algorithm was Zdr, and in the 2D algorithm the pair (Zdr, Zh). LDRhv had negligible effect in the 1D classification algorithm for the cases considered here. The temperature T was mainly effective in separating columnar crystals from the rest. The advantage of the 2D algorithm over the 1D algorithm was that it significantly reduced the dependence on T in two out of the four cases.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1679-1688
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
    Issue number11
    StatePublished - Nov 2004

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Ocean Engineering
    • Atmospheric Science


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