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Radar Reflectivity

Other Names



The property of illuminated objects to reradiate a portion of the incident microwave energy.
Radar Reflectivity, in general, refers to a measure of the efficiency of a radar target in intercepting and returning radio energy. It depends upon the size, shape, aspect, and dielectric properties of the target. It includes not only the effects of reflection but also scattering and diffraction. In particular, the radar reflectivity of a meteorological target depends upon such factors as 1) the number of hydrometeors per unit volume; 2) the sizes of the hydrometeors; 3) the physical state of the hydrometeors (ice or water); 4) the shape or shapes and orientations of the individual elements of the group; and 5) if asymmetrical, their aspect with respect to the radar. The radar reflectivity has dimensions of area per unit volume (e.g. cm 2 /cm 3 , m 2 /m 3 , cm -1 or m -1 ).


1. Algorithm development


Radio (0.4 - 30 cm)

GES DISC Datasets

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Parameter Units Platform /Instrument Data Products
Begin Date End Date Data Access Doc
Radar Reflectivity at ground pixel resolution   TRMM/PR 1997-12-07 Current TRMM_1C21 Y
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Last updated: Dec 02, 2011 02:21 PM ET