Uncertainty in measured raindrop size distributions from four types of collocated instruments

Wei Yu Chang, Gyu Won Lee, Ben Jong Dao Jou, Wen Chau Lee, Pay Liam Lin, Cheng Ku Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Four types (2D-video disdrometer: 2DVD; precipitation occurrence sensor system: POSS; micro-rain radar: MRR; and Joss-Waldvogel disdrometer: JWD) of sixteen instruments were collocated within a square area of 400m2 from 16 April to 8 May 2008 for intercomparison of drop size distribution (DSD) of rain. This unique dataset was used to study the inherent measurement uncertainty due to the diversity of the measuring principles and sampling sizes of the four types of instruments. The DSD intercomparison shows generally good agreement among them, except that the POSS and MRR had higher concentrations of small raindrops (<1.0 mm) and offered a better chance to observe big raindrops (>5.2 mm). The measurement uncertainty (σ) was obtained quantitatively after considering the zero or non-zero measurement error covariance between two instruments of the same type. The results indicate the measurement uncertainties were found to be neither independent nor identical among the same type of instruments. The MRR is relatively accurate (lower σ) due to large sampling volumes and accurate measurement of the Doppler power spectrum. The JWD is the least accurate due to the small sampling volumes. The σ decreases rapidly with increasing time-averaging window. The 2DVD shows the best accuracy of R in longer averaging time, but this is not true for Z due to the small sampling volume. The MRR outperformed other instruments for Z for entire averaging time due to its measuring principle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1167
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Disdrometer
  • Drop size distribution
  • Measuring principle
  • Sampling volume
  • Uncertainty


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncertainty in measured raindrop size distributions from four types of collocated instruments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this