AT741 - Radar Meteorology

Spring 2020

Course Syllabus

Course name: Radar Meteorology

Course number: AT741

Instructors: Prof. Michael Bell, 205 ATS, 491-8345;
Prof. Steven Rutledge, 307 ATS, 491-8283.

Web page:

Office hours: ATS Main 317, 1:00 PM -2:00 PM, Thursday
(virtual office hours starting 25 March 2020---email communication with TA Kyle Chuder,

Classroom and meeting time: ACRC 212B, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM, Monday and Wednesday
(via Go to Meeting starting 25 March through end of semester)

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

TA information: Kyle Chudler (, 317 ATS. Office hours are Thursdays from 1:00-2:00 PM. Virtual office hours (via email) starting 25 March 2020.

Course grading: The course grade will be based on homework exercises (including some computer-based exercises) and a final term paper due at the end of the semester.

Suggested references:

Course content:

SECTION 1 - (Basics and Scattering)

Course introduction, history and basic principles of radar meteorology. Electromagnetic waves. Principles of dielectrics. Ray wave propagation. Scattering by spherical hydrometeors. Scattering by non-spherical and melting hydrometeors.

SECTION 2 - (Radar Basics and Data)

Basic antenna and scanning principles. The radar equation. System hardware. Signal processing considerations. Doppler radar basics. Scanning considerations.

SECTION 3 - (Doppler Radar)

Doppler spectra. Doppler signatures. Single Doppler retrievals. Multiple Doppler retrievals. Airborne radar.

SECTION 4 - (Multiparameter Radar)

Polarimetric variables. Polarimetric retrievals in rain.‚€®Polarimetric retrievals in ice/mixed-phase. Data QC, hydrometeor ID, rainfall algorithms.

SECTION 5 - (Spaceborne Radar Topics)

SECTION 6 - (Radar Detection of Lightning)

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