disdrometer: Impact Disdrometer

The impact disdrometer collects observations of the drop size spectra of rainfall. The sensor transforms the mechanical impact of each drop into an electrical pulse. With calibration, the size of each pulse is interpreted as the diameter of the observed drop.

ARM also deploys laser disdrometers (LDIS) and video disdrometers (VDIS). Data from all these instruments helps improve the quantitative description of precipitation processes in climate models.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Related Publications


Giangrande SE, T Toto, A Bansemer, MR Kumjian, S Mishra, and A Ryzkhov. 2016. "Insights into riming and aggregation processes as revealed by aircraft, radar, and disdrometer observations for a 27 April 2011 widespread precipitation event." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(10), 10.1002/2015jd024537. ONLINE.
Research Highlight

Bartholomew MJ. 2016. Impact Disdrometer Instrument Handbook. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-TR-111.


Deng M, P Kollias, Z Feng, C Zhang, CN Long, H Kalesse, A Chandra, VV Kumar, and A Protat. 2014. "Stratiform and Convective Precipitation Observed by Multiple Radars during the DYNAMO/AMIE Experiment." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53(11), 10.1175/jamc-d-13-0311.1.

Giangrande SE, S Collis, A Theisen, and A Tokay. 2014. "Precipitation Estimation from the ARM Distributed Radar Network during the MC3E Campaign." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53(9), 10.1175/jamc-d-13-0321.1.
Research Highlight

Yano J and TP Lane. 2014. "Convectively generated gravity waves simulated by NAM-SCA." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 119(15), 10.1002/2013jd021419.

Giangrande SE, M Bartholomew, M Pope, S Collis, and MP Jensen. 2014. "A Summary of Precipitation Characteristics from the 2006-2011 Northern Australian Wet Seasons as Revealed by ARM Disdrometer Research Facilities (Darwin, Australia)." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 53, 10.1175/jamc-d-13-0222.1.
Research Highlight


Giangrande SE, S Collis, J Straka, A Protat, C Williams, and S Krueger. 2013. "A Summary of Convective-Core Vertical Velocity Properties Using ARM UHF Wind Profilers in Oklahoma." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 52(10), 10.1175/jamc-d-12-0185.1.
Research Highlight

Tridon F, A Battaglia, P Kollias, E Luke, and C Williams. 2013. "Signal postprocessing and reflectivity calibration of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program 915-MHz wind profilers." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 30(6), 10.1175/jtech-d-12-00146.1.
Research Highlight


Bartholomew MJ. 2012. ARM's Disdrometer Suite: Capabilities and Deployment. Presented at 3rd Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science Team Meeting. Arlington, VA.


Bartholomew M, S Giangrande, M Pope, and M Jensen. 2011. Variability in Rainfall Drop-size Distributions Observed at the ARM Darwin Site. Presented at 2nd Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science Team Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

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