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 Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>