Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Physics


A large convection-cloud chamber has the potential to produce drizzle-sized droplets, thus offering a new opportunity to investigate aerosol-cloud-drizzle interactions at a fundamental level under controlled environmental conditions. One key measurement requirement is the development of methods to detect the low-concentration drizzle drops in such a large cloud chamber. In particular, remote sensing methods may overcome some limitations of in situ methods. Here, the potential of an ultrahigh-resolution radar to detect the radar return signal of a small drizzle droplet against the cloud droplet background signal is investigated. It is found that using a small sampling volume is critical to drizzle detection in a cloud chamber to allow a drizzle drop in the radar sampling volume to dominate over the background cloud droplet signal. For instance, a radar volume of 1 cubic centimeter (cm3) would enable the detection of drizzle embryos with diameter larger than 40μm. However, the probability of drizzle sampling also decreases as the sample volume reduces, leading to a longer observation time. Thus, the selection of radar volume should consider both the signal power and the drizzle occurrence probability. Finally, observations from the Pi Convection-Cloud Chamber are used to demonstrate the single-drizzle-particle detection concept using small radar volume. The results presented in this study also suggest new applications of ultrahigh-resolution cloud radar for atmospheric sensing.

Publisher's Statement

© Author(s) 2024. Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Publisher's PDF

Included in

Physics Commons