Abstract

We describe a technique for measuring path-averaged rain parameters by analyzing the rainfall-induced scintillations of a laser beam. From the time-lagged covariance function of two vertically spaced line detectors, we determine the average rainfall rate and drop-size distribution along the optical path. This technique requires no prior assumption of the form of the drop-size distribution. Sample measurements on a 140-m path confirm that the path-averaged drop-size distribution of a steady rain follows a Marshall-Palmer distribution. The optically measured path-averaged rain rate also shows good agreement with conventional tipping-bucket rain-gauge data.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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