Hydrometeorological application of a microwave link: 2. Precipitation

H. Leijnse, R. Uijlenhoet, J.N.M. Stricker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The suitability of a 27-GHz microwave link for measuring path-averaged precipitation is investigated. Theoretical analyses show that the specific attenuation of an electromagnetic signal at this frequency varies nearly linearly with the rainfall intensity, which is ideal for line-integrating instruments. The dependence of this relation on the drop size distribution and on the temperature is small, so that uncertainties in these variables do not play large roles in the estimation of rainfall intensity. Data from an experiment with a 4.89-km microwave link and a line configuration of seven tipping bucket rain gauges are used to test whether this instrument is indeed suitable for the estimation of path-averaged rainfall. Results from this experiment show that the attenuation due to wet antennas can have a significant effect on the retrieved rainfall intensity. However, when a two-parameter wet antenna correction function is applied to the link data, comparisons with the rain gauge data show that the instrument is indeed well suited for the measurement of path-averaged rainfall
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)W04417
Number of pages9
JournalWater Resources Research
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • path-averaged rainfall
  • dual-frequency
  • attenuation
  • radar
  • band
  • resolution
  • hydrology
  • gauges
  • size

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