In the present work we propose a Kalman filter (KF) technique to estimate KDP that relies only on the measured ψDP and therefore provides estimate which are fully independent from power-related radar observables. The algorithm aims to provide KDP estimates at the higher possible resolution, in order to capture the fine scale variation of the precipitation. It takes into account the effect of differential shift upon backscattering (d) and the error structure of the polarimetric phase-based variables, through a parametrization based on simulated radar measurements.
The newly developed algorithm is compared with other two standard algorithms of the same type (i.e., that only use phase-information), that are based on linear interpolation and moving window range derivative. The comparison is carried out by means of simulated DSD fields, which allow to compare true and retrieved KDP values directly. The KF algorithm outperforms the standard ones in terms of Nash Efficiency, Correlation Coefficient, RMSE and mean normalized bias and it is able to improve the estimation of high KDP values, by reducing their systematic underestimation. It is also shown that the Mean Normalized Absolute Error in the estimation of KDP for all the methods considered can be as large as 25-30% at the range resolution volume scale.