Radar Rainfall Studies

Scanning weather radars use empirical relationships to calculate rainfall rates from the measured returned power.

These empirical relationships are updated in real time using the rain gauge network. Rain gauges can only provide surface information, however the actual rain rate can vary greatly during the descent from cloud to ground.

Vertically pointing radars are capable of retrieving the rain rate throughout the vertical column from cloud to ground, and therefore offer additional information over rain gauges. 

ATRAD Pty Ltd, an Adelaide based radar design and manufacturing company presently operates both UHF (~50 MHz) and VHF (~400 MHz) radars and have recently acquired an X-band (~10 GHz) radar system, typically only used as scanning radars. Using all of these radars together could enable unprecedented observations of vertical profiles of rainfall.

Depending on student’s interest various projects, which could be hardware or data analysis focussed, using combinations of these systems are possible. These could include sensor fusion, radar deployment, comparison techniques, validation with Bureau of Meteorology’s computational models, etc.

The project will be supported by ATRAD Pty Ltd, and provides an opportunity for the student to experience industry life.

Tagged in Honours projects - Physics, Honours Projects - Bronwyn Dolman, Honours Projects - Iain Reid, Honours in Physics subtheme - Space and atmospheric