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Radio Science

Radio probing of the troposphere


  • C. Gordon Little


Radio wave interactions with the atmosphere and its constituents have been used to derive information on many aspects of the troposphere. Passively (i.e., in the radiometric mode), they have been used to measure temperature profiles and the water vapor and liquid water contents of the atmosphere, and to identify tornadic storms. In the active mode, three-dimensional fields of precipitation and velocity have been measured. These have permitted studies of horizontal and vertical velocities, vorticity, convergence, turbulence spectra, turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates, and fluxes of momentum and kinetic energy, as well as studies of such atmospheric phenomena as thermal plumes, convective cells, internal gravity waves, breaking waves, and convective and orographic storms.

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