This object-oriented Python module facilitates precipitation retrievals (e.g., hydrometeor type, precipitation rate, precipitation mass, particle size distribution) from polarimetric radar data. It leverages existing open-source radar software packages to perform all-in-one retrievals that are then easily visualized or saved using existing software.

The software consolidates existing disparate polarimetric radar retrievals within a single package, so the end user only needs one line of code to ingest and process polarimetric radar data and retrieve useful precipitation information. It ingests polarimetric radar data using the Department of Energy’s Py-ART open-source radar software toolkit, and ingests sounding data (used in the precipitation retrievals) using the skewt Python module. The actual retrieval algorithms are called out of the csu_radartools package. All of this is combined via an object-oriented interface, and the retrieved data are stored within the Py-ART framework, which can save or display the newly created variable fields as needed.

This work was done by Timothy Lang of Marshall Space Flight Center. NASA is seeking partners to further develop this technology through joint cooperative research and development. For more information about this technology and to explore opportunities, please contact Ronald C. Darty at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. MFS-33274-1

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This article first appeared in the September, 2017 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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