Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
04 Feb 2009
 | 04 Feb 2009

Rainfall observation from X-band, space-borne, synthetic aperture radar

J. A. Weinman, F. S. Marzano, W. J. Plant, A. Mugnai, and N. Pierdicca

Abstract. Satellites carrying X-band Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) have recently been launched by several countries. These provide new opportunities to measure precipitation with higher spatial resolution than has heretofore been possible. Two algorithms to retrieve precipitation from such measurements over land have been developed, and the retrieved rainfall distributions were found to be consistent. A maritime rainfall distribution obtained from dual frequency (X and C-band) data was used to compute the Differential Polarized Phase Shift. The computed Differential Polarized Phase Shift compared well with the value measured from space. Finally, we show a comparison between a recent X-band SAR image of a precipitation distribution and an observation of the same rainfall from ground-based operational weather radar. Although no quantitative comparison of retrieved and conventional rainfall distributions could be made with the available data at this time, the results presented here point the way to such comparisons.