The atmospheric radiation measurement program cloud profiling radars: Second-generation sampling strategies, processing, and cloud data products

Pavlos Kollias, Eugene E. Clothiaux, Mark A. Miller, Edward P. Luke, Karen L. Johnson, Kenneth P. Moran, Kevin B. Widener, Bruce A. Albrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


The U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program operates millmeter-wavelength cloud radars in several climatologically distinct regions. The digital signal processors for these radars were recently upgraded and allow for enhancements in the operational parameters running on them. Recent evaluations of millimeter-wavelength cloud radar signal processing performance relative to the range of cloud dynamical and microphysical conditions encountered at the ARM Program sites have indicated that improvements are necessary, including significant improvement in temporal resolution (i.e., less than 1 s for dwell and 2 s for dwell and processing), wider Nyquist velocities, operational dealiasing of the recorded spectra, removal of pulse compression while sampling the boundary layer, and continuous recording of Doppler spectra. A new set of millimeter-wavelength cloud radar operational modes that incorporate these enhancements is presented. A significant change in radar sampling is the introduction of an uneven mode sequence with 50% of the sampling time dedicated to the lower atmosphere, allowing for detailed characterization of boundary layer clouds. The changes in the operational modes have a substantial impact on the postprocessing algorithms that are used to extract cloud information from the radar data. New methods for postprocessing of recorded Doppler spectra are presented that result in more accurate identification of radar clutter (e.g., insects) and extraction of turbulence and microphysical information. Results of recent studies on the error characteristics of derived Doppler moments are included so that uncertainty estimates are now included with the moments. The microscale data product based on the increased temporal resolution of the millimeter-wavelength cloud radars is described. It contains the number of local maxima in each Doppler spectrum, the Doppler moments of the primary peak, uncertainty estimates for the Doppler moments of the primary peak, Doppler moment shape parameters (e.g., skewness and kurtosis), and clear-air clutter flags.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1199-1214
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The atmospheric radiation measurement program cloud profiling radars: Second-generation sampling strategies, processing, and cloud data products'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this