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Analyzing Gaps in Hurricane Rain Coverage to Inform Future Satellite Proposals
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    Remote Sensing, 12
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Analyzing Gaps in Hurricane Rain Coverage to Inform Future Satellite Proposals
  • Description:
    This study assesses where tropical cyclone (TC) surface winds can be measured as a function of footprint sizes and wavelengths (Ka- Ku- and C-band). During TCs, most high-resolution surface observations are impeded by considerable ‘rain contamination.’ Under these conditions, high-resolution surface observations typically come from operational aircraft. Other techniques that provide high-resolution surface observations through rain are also hindered somewhat by rain contamination and are very sparse in space and time. The impacts of rain are functions of the remotely sensed wavelength and rain–drop size. Therefore, relative long wavelengths have been used to observe the surface, but at the cost of a larger footprint. We examine how smaller footprint sizes could be used to observe through gaps between moderate to heavy rainbands that circulate around the main low-pressure center of a TC. Aircraft data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) WP-3D turboprop aircraft will be used to create realistic maps of rain. Our results provide information on the satellite instrument characteristics needed to see the surface through these gaps. This information is expected to aid in developing hurricane-related applications of new higher-resolution satellites.
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