Comparison between Pludix and impact/optical disdrometers during rainfall measurement campaigns

C. Caracciolo, F. Prodi, R. Uijlenhoet

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The performances of two couples of disdrometers based on different measuring principles are compared: a classical Joss¿Waldvogel disdrometer and a recently developed device, called the Pludix tested in Ferrara, Italy, and Pludix and the two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) tested in Cabauw, The Netherlands. First, the measuring principles of the different instruments are presented and compared. Secondly, the performances of the two pairs of disdrometers are analysed by comparing their rain amounts with nearby tipping bucket rain gauges and the inferred drop size distributions. The most important rainfall integral parameters (e.g. rain rate and radar reflectivity) and drop size distribution parameters are also analysed and compared. The data set for Ferrara comprises 13 rainfall events, with a total of 20 mm of rainfall and a maximum rain rate of 4 mm h¿ 1. The data set for Cabauw consists of 9 events, with 25¿50 mm of rainfall and a maximum rain rate of 20¿40 mm h¿ 1. The Pludix tends to underestimate slightly the bulk rainfall variables in less intense events, whereas it tends to overestimate with respect to the other instruments in heavier events. The correspondence of the inferred drop size distributions with those measured by the other disdrometers is reasonable, particularly with the Joss¿Waldvogel disdrometer. Considering that the Pludix is still in a calibration and testing phase, the reported results are encouraging. A new signal inversion algorithm, which will allow the detection of rain drops throughout the entire diameter interval between 0.3 and 7.0 mm, is under development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-163
JournalAtmospheric Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • rain
  • precipitation
  • measurement techniques
  • measurement systems
  • meteorological instruments
  • droplet size
  • 2-dimensional video disdrometer
  • size distribution measurements
  • joss-waldvogel disdrometer
  • raindrop spectra
  • distributions
  • radar
  • hydrometeors


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