AT741 - Radar Meteorology

Spring 2016 - Dr. Steven Rutledge

Course Syllabus

Course name: Radar Meteorology

Course number: AT741

Instructor: Prof. Steven Rutledge, 307 ATS, 970-491-8283.

Web page:

Office hours: Tuesday’s, 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Classroom and meeting time: ACRC 212B, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM, Tuesday and Thursday

Prerequisites: AT652, or permission of instructor

Course goals and Objectives: AT741 is designed to provide a foundational understanding of radar meteorology. Topics presented include microwave scattering theory, Doppler principles, polarimetric radar, dual-wavelength radar, mm-wave radars with applications. The course also provides information on the theory of radar including engineering principles. The objective of the course is to provide the student with a working knowledge of radar meteorology including applications to remote sensing of clouds and precipitation.

Textbook: None

Course readings: As recommended during the semester, also see course web page.

Course calendar: Follows CSU course calendar

Expectations: Regular attendance is strongly recommended. Read the class notes in advance of class.

Statement on academic dishonesty: This course will adhere to the CSU Academic Integrity Policy as found in the General Catalog ( and the Student Conduct Code ( At a minimum, violations will result in a grading penalty in this course and a report to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.

Exam schedule: There are no examinations. Course grading is based on homework assignments, projects, and in-class presentations.

Contact hours: About two hours of effort are expected to complete readings and homework assignments outside of class for each hour of class time.

TA information: Brody Fuchs (brfuchs @ Office hours are Wednesdays 1-3 pm.

Course grading: The course grade will be based on homework exercises (including some computer-based exercises), in-class presentation/discussion of assigned papers and a final class project (oral presentation).

Suggested references:

Course content:

SECTION 1 – (Basics and Scattering)

Course introduction, history and basic principles of radar meteorology. Electromagnetic waves.
Principles of dielectrics.
Basic antenna and scanning principles. Ray paths.
Scattering by spherical hydrometeors.
Scattering by non-spherical and melting hydrometeors, and by lightning.

SECTION 2 – (Radar Systems and Data)

System hardware.
Signal processing. Meteorological Fields (Doppler). Meteorological Fields (Polarimetric).

SECTION 3 – (Doppler Radar)

Doppler spectra.
Doppler signatures.
Single Doppler retrievals. Multiple Doppler retrievals.

SECTION 4 – (Multiparameter Radar)

Polarimetric retrievals in rain.
Polarimetric retrievals in ice/mixed-phase.
Data QC, hydrometeor ID, rainfall algorithms. Spaceborne radar topics, TRMM, CloudSat, future missions including GPM.

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