Microwave Scattering from Melting Ice Crystals

Open Access
Author:
Baker, Kristina M
Graduate Program:
Meteorology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 13, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Johannes Verlinde, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • microwave scattering
  • melting ice crystals
  • radar bright band
  • differential reflectivity
Abstract:
Simple configurations of aligned spheres were created to simulate cross-shaped and column-shaped ice crystals to examine differential reflectivity during melting using a computational model for calculating scattering properties of multi-sphere configurations. The model, developed by Daniel W. Mackowski, is based upon an analytical solution to Maxwell’s wave equation for non-overlapping spheres. The goal was to recreate anomalous differential reflectivity, ZDR, readings, known as the radar bright band, that are noted in field measurements. Microwave scattering from single, horizontally oriented crystals was first examined. Subsequent simulations introduced rotation and canting of the crystal proxy over 500 realizations as it falls through the melting layer. The results of these simulations are shown and discussed. These simple experiments support the presence of the large maximum in ZDR observed in the radar bright band.