Abstract: The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) took place in central Oklahoma during the April–June 2011 period. The experiment was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Ground ... Validation (GV) program. The field campaign leveraged the unprecedented observing infrastructure currently available in the central United States, combined with an extensive sounding array, remote sensing and in situ aircraft observations, NASA GPM ground validation remote sensors, and new ARM instrumentation purchased with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The overarching goal was to provide the most complete characterization of convective cloud systems, precipitation, and the environment that has ever been obtained, providing constraints for model cumulus parameterizations and space-based rainfall retrieval algorithms over land that had never before been available.
The Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR) instrument played a key role in the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E). The AMPR remotely senses passive microwave signatures of geophysical parameters from an airborne platform. The instrument is a low noise system which can provide multi-frequency microwave imagery with high spatial and temporal resolution. AMPR data are collected at a combination of four microwave frequencies (10.7, 19.35, 37.1, and 85.5 GHz) with two orientations each (Vpol-to-Hpol and Hpol-to-Vpol) which are complimentary to current aircraft and satellite instrumentation. These frequencies are best suited to the study of rain systems, but are also useful to studies of other atmospheric, oceanic, and land surface processes.