Spatial correlation of beam-filling error in microwave rain-rate retrievals Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper the authors consider the possibility of correlations between the random part of the so-called beam-filling error between neighboring fields of view in the microwave retrieval of rain rate over oceans. The study is based upon the GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) rain-rate dataset, and it is found that there is a correlation of between 0.35 and 0.50 between the errors in adjacent rainy fields of view. The net effect of this correlation is reducing the number of statistically independent terms accumulated in forming area and time averages of rain-rate estimates. In GATE-like rain areas, this reduction can be of the order of a factor of 3, making accumulated standard error percentages increase by a factor of the order of 3. For the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission using the microwave radiometer alone, this could increase the accumulated random part of the beam-filling error for month-long 5 5 boxes from about 1.2% to 2%. The effect is larger for less rainy areas away from the equatorial zone.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • North, G. R., & Polyak, I.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • North, GR||Polyak, I

publication date

  • October 1996