Thursday, 7 August 2003
The Cloud Radar System
The Cloud Radar System (CRS) is a highly sensitive 94 GHz (W-band) pulsed-Doppler polarimetric radar. The radar has been developed for cloud research and is designed to fly above 20 km altitude on the NASA ER-2 aircraft. The instrument is currently the only mm-wave radar capable of cloud and precipitation measurements from above most all clouds. Because it operates from high-altitude, the CRS provides a unique measurement perspective for cirrus cloud studies. The CRS emulates a satellite view of cloud and precipitation systems thus providing a valuable measurements for the implementation and algorithm validation for the upcoming NASA CloudSat mission which will measure ice cloud distributions on the global scale using a spaceborne 94 GHz radar. In July 2002, the CRS participated in the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers - Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE). The analysis of CRS data helps to improve our knowledge on atmospheric scattering and attenuation at 94 GHz. The data are also used for assessing the ocean surface as a calibration reference for mm-wave radar. This presentation describes the CRS instrument, calibration and preliminary data from CRYSTAL-FACE.