183 PyDSD: A Python Library for Working with Disdrometers, Particle Probes, and Drop Size Distributions

Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Zurich (Swissotel Chicago)
Joseph C. Hardin, PNNL, Richland, WA; and N. Guy

PyDSD, formerly PyDisdrometer, is a Python library for working with drop size distributions and the instruments that measure them. Disdrometers and particle probes are instruments that directly measure the distribution of raindrop sizes in precipitation using a variety of techniques that include imaging cameras and lasers.

PyDSD is broken up into different computational modules. The “io” module supports reading from many different file formats including specialized field campaign formats. The microphysics module calculates different parameterizations such as median drop diameter, and intercept parameters of normalized gamma functions based on many different approaches in literature. The scattering module calculates radar equivalent parameters including polarization based parameters such as reflectivity and specific differential phase based on T-Matrix scattering computations. It supports arbitrary frequencies, temperatures, and shape relationships. The convective/stratiform partitioning module implements many different C-S partitioning algorithms. Finally, the plotting submodule includes many different visualization types for the data.

A major focus of this library development has been ease of use for end-users. This means creating a set of sane defaults that allow users to start working with the library at an exploration stage, before they've fully defined their exact workflow. We then provide easy paths to customization that allow more advanced users the ability to do more challenging tasks. This means making simple tasks easy, and allowing for instant feedback on actions, without requiring a large amount of code.

PyDSD is open source, actively maintained by its authors, and used in the workflow of many scientists and engineers. It includes support for both Python 2 and Python 3. This presentation will focus on the library and it’s uses.

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