Retrieval of Reflectivity in a Networked Radar Environment

At a Glance

​Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a system for reflectivity and attenuation retrieval for rain medium in a networked radar environment by solving the integral equation for reflectivity and attenuation. The set of governing integral equations describing the backscatter and propagation of common resolution volume are solved simultaneously with constraints on total path attenuation. The algorithm was evaluated based on simulated X-band radar observations synthesized from S-band measurements collected by the Colorado State University–University of Chicago–Illinois State Water Survey (CSU–CHILL) radar.


Conventional meteorological radars provide coverage over long ranges (often hundreds of kilometers) and support weather surveillance and hydrological monitoring applications by using high-power transmitters and mechanically scanned antennas. These systems operate at wavelengths in the 5–10-cm range to propagate through precipitation and necessitate the use of physically large antennas to achieve high resolution at the distant ranges.

As an alternate solution, a networked radar system concept was recently proposed (Chandrasekar and Jayasumana 2001; McLaughlin 2001). The basic principle of the networked radar environment is the ability to provide good coverage, in terms of accuracy and resolution, to a focused area through a network of radars. To be able to provide economically viable solutions to this approach, meteorological radar operation must change from the “preferred” S-band operation to higher frequencies so that physically smaller antennas can be deployed. However, at higher frequencies, the impact of attenuation due to precipitation needs to be resolved for successful implementation.


  • Short-range radar systems can provide good coverage in terms of spatial and temporal resolution
  • System simultaneously solves the integral equation for three radars with individual constraints on integrated path attenuation
  • Method is valid for a network of radars
  • Algorithm is not affected by random signal fluctuations
  • System demonstrates good accuracy of the retrieval method for intrinsic reflectivity


  • Networked Radar Systems (for reflectivity and attenuation retrieval for rain medium)
Last Updated: June 2023
IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 7,518,544


V. Chandrasekar
Sanghun Lim

Reference Number