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Hydrometeor Detection Using Cloudsat—An Earth-Orbiting 94-GHz Cloud Radar

Marchand, R., G. G. Mace, T. Ackerman, and G. Stephens (2008), Hydrometeor Detection Using Cloudsat—An Earth-Orbiting 94-GHz Cloud Radar, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 25, 519-533, doi:10.1175/2007JTECHA1006.1.

In late April 2006, NASA launched Cloudsat, an earth-observing satellite that uses a near-nadir-pointing millimeter-wavelength radar to probe the vertical structure of clouds and precipitation. The first step in using Cloudsat measurements is to distinguish clouds and other hydrometeors from radar noise. In this article the operational Cloudsat hydrometeor detection algorithm is described, difficulties due to surface clutter are discussed, and several examples from the early mission are shown. A preliminary comparison of the Cloudsat hydrometeor detection algorithm with lidar-based results from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite is also provided.

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