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Radar can see individual raindrops from 2 km

Most people are familiar with radar imaging of storms from local news broadcasts and all the interruptions to your favorite programming during bad weather. The radar most of us are familiar with offers limited resolution when it comes to seeing what's actually going on inside the storm. The U.S. Navy, however, has a new high-resolution radar that offers vastly improved imaging capability.
 
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory recently announced the Navy has a very high resolution Doppler radar that can actually see into a storm and image individual raindrops in the cloudburst. The breakthrough opens the door for improved monitoring applications that can be able to track and monitor weather and severe storms with significantly more accuracy.
 
"Similar to the traces left behind on film by sub-atomic particles, researchers observed larger cloud particles leaving well-defined, nearly linear, radar reflectivity "streaks" which could be analyzed to infer their underlying properties," NRL stated.
 
The Naval Research Laboratory used this "mid-course radar" to retrieve information on internal cloud flow and precipitation structure. The radar has been used in the past to track small debris shed during space shuttle missions during launch. It has the capability of imaging a cloud with the volume roughly equal to the small bus at a range of 2 km.
 
The researchers believe that the radar could help unlock the mysteries that are still unknown having to do with cloud and precipitation formation. These mysteries include things like the development and movement of large hail stones that cause billions of dollars in damage annually to crops and property in the United States. 

Source: Network World



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RE: Seeing shadows
By MrBlastman on 6/29/2012 9:46:29 AM , Rating: 2
Like all things in science, one cannot ever profess to know everything:

quote:
From the NRL: "Scientists could detect the individual particles because of a combination of the radar's 3MW power, narrow 0.22 degree beamwidth, and an unprecedented range resolution as fine as 0.5m. This combination of radar attributes allows researchers to sample a volume of cloud about the size of a small bus (roughly 14 m3) when operating at a range of 2 km. With such small pulse volumes, it becomes possible to measure the properties of individual raindrops greater than 0.5mm in diameter due to the low concentration of such drops in naturally occurring cloud systems and the overwhelming dominance such drops have on the measured radar reflectivity when present in a field comprised of smaller particles. "


Remember, the albedo of water increases dramatically at high angles of incidence and this holds true for various wavelengths, okay, certain ones outside of the visible spectrum.


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