Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Forecasting rain - Radars for estimating rainfall rates

06.11.2008
To be effective, flood warning systems use rainfall data available in real time. These data come from the ground observation network and estimations made based on the national network of climate radars operated by Météo France.

Today, mountain zones are only partially covered by this rain detection technology. Within the INTERREG project, a new generation of radars is being tested by Cemagref in the Var department, a mountainous region with a high flood risk. The radar is currently located in the countryside immediately inland from Nice.

Measuring the intensity of rain as it is falling is indispensable to anticipating rapidly rising waters and reacting to the associated flood risk. To the classical rain gauges installed throughout the area, new radar technologies were added in the 1990s to detect rain and measure the accumulation of precipitations in real time.

Today, Météo France has a national network of 24 weather radars available within approximately 100 km. However, all regions in France are not covered by this mesh, in particular the mountain zones where the relief masks downstream rain zones by creating an obstacle to wave displacement. Within the FRAMEA1 project, a new radar technology developed by Novimet ² is being tested at the Aix-en-Provence Cemagref. The experiments conducted in the Maures massive have proven to be highly promising.

[1 Flood forecasting using Radar in Alpine and Mediterranean Areas (FRAMEA)]
[2 A young company split off from the CNRS]
- More compact and less expensive radars
The radars used at the beginning to monitor planes flying overhead were extended to the detection and quantification of precipitations. Large-scale radars, 6–8 m in antenna diameter, are used today in weather stations located in the plains. In mountain zones, the number of radars must be multiplied in relation to the relief, which requires smaller and less expensive models. The new Hydrix radar responds to these demands. However, by reducing the diameter of the parabolic antenna to 1.5 m, the wave frequency must be boosted, which increases the attenuation of waves during their displacement.

To compensate this signal attenuation effect, a profiling algorithm (ZPHI) is used. Finally, the radar operates in double polarization, which provides information on the size of the rain drops and estimates precipitations without resetting ground network observations. Today, in a doctoral dissertation supervised by both Cemagref and the firm Novimet, this new radar technology is being tested in the Var department, a mountainous region that experiences very intense flash floods.

- Results that are coherent with ground readings

The Hydrix is installed near Réal Collobrier, Cemagre’s instrumented research catchment, located in the Maures massif. The total rainfall in autumn 2006 calculated by the radar was compared to the rain gauge readings on the ground and to the accumulation estimated by one of the nearby radars belonging to the Météo France network. Within a 60- to 80-km radius, the data supplied by the radar were in coherence with the quantities of rain collected on the ground. In addition, the algorithmic signal processing retransmitted rain gauge data in real time that were as good quality as the data sent by the classical radar managed by Météo France.

Today, the research is continuing so as to integrate the rain gauge data supplied by the radar into existing rainfall-runoff models. By converting rainfall into runoff, these mathematical tools can calculate the runoff of rivers at the outlet of a catchment. These rainfall and runoff data then feed the flood warning systems, such as the Aiga system developed by Cemagref and Météo France in 2005. By completing the existing radar network, the Hydrix technology will contribute to the extension of the flood warning system over the entire area, including mountainous zones.

Marie Signoret | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cemagref.fr
http://www.cemagref.fr/Informations/Presse/InfMediaEV/infomedia85EV/im85_pluie_article1.htm

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>