Attenuation and reflection of radio waves by a melting layer of precipitation

W. Klaassen

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Attenuation and reflection of a melting layer are calculated using a meteorological model. The model employs a new scheme for the calculation of the dielectric properties of melting ice particles with densities ranging from those of loose snow to hail, and a new scheme for calculating the melting rate is employed. The input parameters are derived from high resolution Doppler radar data and provide a data set for statistical analysis. Statistical relations were derived for attenuation in the melting layer based on measurements made with a surface rain gauge, a radar (with and without a polarisation facility), and a lower frequency satellite link. It was found that the specific attenuation of melting snow surpasses the value of rain because of the larger size and particle number density during melting, the attenuation within the melting layer increasing with its reflection. In stratiform precipitation, the attenuation in the melting layer is found to increase only slightly with frequency. The reflection in the melting layer decreases with the frequency of the radio waves in such a way that a bright band is only observed for frequencies below 20 GHz.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalIEE Proceedings. Part H: Microwaves, Antennas and Propagation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Radio wave propagation (tropospheric)

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