A Machine Learning System for Precipitation Estimation Using Satellite and Ground Radar Network Observations
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A Machine Learning System for Precipitation Estimation Using Satellite and Ground Radar Network Observations

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  • Journal Title:
    IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
  • Description:
    Space-based precipitation products are often used for regional and/or global hydrologic modeling and climate studies. A number of precipitation products at multiple space and time scales have been developed based on satellite observations. However, their accuracy is limited due to the restrictions on spatiotemporal sampling of the satellite sensors and the applied parametric retrieval algorithms. Similarly, a ground-based weather radar is widely used for quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE), especially after the implementation of dual-polarization capability and urban scale deployment of high-resolution X-band radar networks. Ground-based radars are often used for the validation of various spaceborne measurements and products. This article introduces a novel machine learning-based data fusion framework to improve the satellite-based precipitation retrievals by incorporating dual-polarization measurements from a ground radar network. The prototype architecture of this fusion system is detailed. In particular, a deep learning multi-layer perceptron (MLP) model is designed to produce the rainfall estimates using the geostationary satellite infrared (IR) data and low earth orbit satellite passive microwave (PMW)-based retrievals as inputs. The high-quality rainfall products from the ground radar network are used as the target labels to train this MLP model. An urban scale demonstration study over the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex is presented. In addition, the Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (i.e., CMORPH) is adopted for preprocessing of the satellite observations. Rainfall products from this deep learning system are evaluated using the standard CMORPH products. The results show that the proposed data fusion framework can be used for generating accurate precipitation estimates and could be considered as an alternative tool for developing future satellite retrieval algorithms.
  • Source:
    IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 58(2): 982-994
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