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The GPM Ground Validation Autonomous Parsivel Unit (APU) MC3E dataset was collected by the Autonomous Parsivel Unit (APU), which is an optical disdrometer that measures the size and fall velocity of single precipitation particles. The APU consists of the Parsivel (the precipitation measuring instrument), developed by OTT in Germany, and its support systems, which were designed and built by the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The APU dataset for the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) provides precipitation data including raindrop size, precipitation drop size, precipitation rate and amount. 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.

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