EU-funded scientists are working toward developing a new generation of radars for estimating rainfall rates.
A wide range of areas, from agriculture to flood defence, depend on reliable rainfall data. Current measurement methods include either the use of rain gauges that measure precipitation in a single point or long-range weather radars that are relatively expensive.
Scientists in the EU-funded project 'Development of a high resolution, low cost, short range precipitation radar system' (MARG) are addressing the clear need for an affordable and innovative device for recording rainfalls. In particular, they are developing an accurate, real-time and user-friendly measurement system for monitoring spatial distribution and intensity of rain at rural and urban scale. The system should provide 100-m spatial resolution over a 30-km range.
The MARG system provides real-time radar images along with rain-intensity data. By using morphological information from the integrated geographical information system, it also identifies rain type events. Furthermore, it delivers cumulative radar data representing the total precipitation over a selected time period and short-term radar forecasts. Additional services include forecasts based on model output statistics, a heavy precipitation and storm alert service, 24-hour system monitoring and automated system status notification.
MARG uses a variety of new technologies to collect weather data. It combines state-of-the-art microwave technology, digital signal processing and geographic information systems along with novel algorithms to measure precipitation.
The novel system identifies rain types using Doppler spectrum data and morphological information from radar rainfall maps. Scientists have already developed the radio-frequency hardware modules that are now ready for testing. Furthermore, they have selected parabolic antennae working in the C band (5.6 GHz) that provide high accuracy and designed quantitative precipitation estimation algorithms.
Through rainfall estimates, the MARG system is expected to play a vital role especially in sewer system performance, water treatment plants and irrigation control systems.
Provided by Cordis