On board of the NASA's Global Hawk (AV1) aircraft there are two microwave, namely: the passive microwave Hurricane Imaging Radiometer (HIRAD), and the active microwave High-altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler (HIWRAP). This paper presents results from an unplanned rain rate measurement validation opportunity that occurred in 2013, when the Global Hawk aircraft flew over an intense tropical squall-line that was simultaneously observed, by the Tampa NEXRAD meteorological radar. During this experiment, Global Hawk flying at an altitude of 18 km made 3 passes over the rapidly propagating thunderstorm, while the TAMPA NEXRAD perform volume scans on a 5-minute interval. NEXRAD 2D images of rain rate (mm/hr) were obtained at two altitudes (3 km & 6 km), which serve as surface truth for the HIRAD rain rate retrievals. In this paper, results are presented of the three-way inter-comparison of HIRAD Tb, HIWRAP dbZ and NEXRAD rain rate imagery.
Meteorology and Climatology
IGARSS 2015; 26-31 Jul. 2015; Milan; Italy