11B.2 A New Inanimate Class for the WSR-88D Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Room 17B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
James M. Kurdzo, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA; and B. J. Bennett, D. J. Smalley, E. R. Williams, and M. F. Donovan

The current implementation of the Hydrometeor Classification Algorithm (HCA) on the WSR-88D contains two non-hydrometeor-based classes: ground clutter/anomalous propagation and biological scatterers. However, numerous other non-hydrometeor targets that do not fall into these two categories can be encountered by the radar, including chaff, sea clutter, combustion debris, and radio frequency interference. The HCA always provides a classification so these targets often masquerade as one of the non-hydrometeor classes, but can also appear as meteorological targets. In order to address this discrepancy, a new class (nominally named “inanimate”) has been developed that encompasses many of these non-meteorological targets. Using this class, a distinction between non-biological and biological non-hydrometeor targets can be made. A discussion regarding the fuzzy logic membership functions, optimization of membership weights, and class restrictions is presented, with a focus on observations of highly stochastic differential phase estimates in all of the aforementioned targets. Numerous examples of non-hydrometeor cases with the new HCA class are shown, with before-and-after comparisons. Attempts to separate the results into sub-classes using a support vector machine are presented, and examples of each target type are detailed. Considerations concerning eventual implementation into the WSR-88D radar product generator are addressed.
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