Aircraft In Situ Validation of Hydrometeors and Icing Conditions Inferred by Ground-based NEXRAD Polarimetric Radar
MIT Lincoln Laboratory is tasked by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the use of the NEXRAD polarimetric radars* for the remote sensing of icing conditions hazardous to aircraft. A critical aspect of the investigation concerns validation that has relied upon commercial airline icing pilot reports and a dedicated campaign of in situ flights in winter storms. During the month of February in 2012 and 2013, the Convair-580 aircraft operated by the National Research Council of Canada was used for in situ validation of snowstorm characteristics under simultaneous observation by NEXRAD radars in Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York. The most anisotropic and easily distinguished winter targets to dual pol radar are ice crystals.