PyDisdrometer: A Python Library for Disdrometer Data Processing and Radar Simulation

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Joseph Hardin, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and V. Chandrasekar

PyDisdrometer is a Python based library for working with disdrometer data. Disdrometers are ground instruments that measure the drop size distributions and speeds of rainfall at the ground. This library is capable of working with multiple different file formats, as well as data archives from field campaigns that have used disdrometers. PyDisdrometer can take a set of drop size distributions and calculate dual-polarization radar measured parameters such as reflectivity, differential reflectivity, and specific differential phase and attenuation at arbitrary frequency bands, temperatures, and drop shape relationships. In addition, this we include functionality for estimating rain rate parameterizations from sets of variables.

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.

This work will primarily discuss the PyDisdrometer library and it's development, but will also briefly touch on useful design principles for computer scientists and engineers to keep in mind when designing libraries for science users.