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 help improve the quantitative description of precipitation processes in climate models.



  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Active Instrument Locations

Facility Name Instrument Start Date
Central Facility, Lamont, OK 2006-04-11
Lamont, OK (Extended and Co-located with C1) 2017-01-09


Wang D, S Giangrande, Z Feng, J Hardin, and A Prein. 2020. "Updraft and Downdraft Core Size and Intensity as Revealed by Radar Wind Profilers: MCS Observations and Idealized Model Comparisons." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125(11), e2019JD031774, 10.1029/2019JD031774.
Research Highlight


Zhang J and P Zuidema. 2019. "The diurnal cycle of the smoky marine boundary layer observed during August in the remote southeast Atlantic." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19(23), 10.5194/acp-19-14493-2019.
Research Highlight

Kollias P, B Puigdomènech Treserras, and A Protat. 2019. "Calibration of the 2007–2017 record of Atmospheric Radiation Measurements cloud radar observations using CloudSat." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 12(9), 10.5194/amt-12-4949-2019.

Morrison H, M Kumjian, C Martinkus, O Prat, and M van Lier-Walqui. 2019. "A general N-moment normalization method for deriving rain drop size distribution scaling relationships." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58(2), 10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0060.1.
Research Highlight

Louf V, A Protat, R Warren, S Collis, D Wolff, S Raunyiar, C Jakob, and W Petersen. 2019. "An integrated approach to weather radar calibration and monitoring using ground clutter and satellite comparisons." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 36(1), 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0007.1.
Research Highlight

Han B, J Fan, A Varble, H Morrison, C Williams, B Chen, X Dong, S Giangrande, A Khain, E Mansell, J Milbrandt, J Shpund, and G Thompson. 2019. "Cloud-Resolving Model Intercomparison of an MC3E Squall Line Case: Part II. Stratiform Precipitation Properties." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(2), 10.1029/2018JD029596.
Research Highlight


Kumjian M, C Martinkus, O Prat, S Collis, M van Lier-Walqui, and H Morrison. 2018. "A Moment-based Polarimetric Radar Forward Operator for Rain Microphysics." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58(1), 10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0121.1.
Research Highlight

Wang J, X Dong, and B Xi. 2018. "Investigation of Liquid Cloud Microphysical Properties of Deep Convective Systems: 2. Parameterization of Raindrop Size Distribution and its Application for Convective Rain Estimation." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123(20), 10.1029/2018JD028727.


Lewis ER. 2016. Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds (MAGIC) Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-16-057.

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.
Research Highlight

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