Meteorological radar products for agriculture
An Italian research team has developed a C-band dual-polarization Doppler weather radar. The radar is capable of providing seamless monitoring of precipitation within a distance of 150 km from the radar from which products for a variety of applications can be obtained (eg. upcoming of dangerous weather conditions). The researchers are interested in technical cooperation agreements.
The type of partnership considered is technical cooperation agreement. The partner sought could be any kind of company or entity that is interested in weather radar products to be used in sectors such as agriculture, transports, insurance, renewable energy. The purpose is to share resources and skills to further the development of the technical aspects of the technology.
The Italian research team has conducted important theoretical and experimental studies about Radar meteorology, all of them published in prestigious international scientific journals. The studies have led to the affirmation of the dual-polarization technology as a reference standard for weather radar and the related methods for quantitative estimation of precipitation and cloud properties as well. The technology developed and offered is based on the dual polarization C-band weather radar measurements collected by this radar in spherical coordinates, namely reflectivity factor, differential reflectivity, differential phase shift and mean Doppler velocity. Specific retrieval techniques are applied to obtain routinely geophysical products based on georeferenced grids. Products can be accessed by the authorized users through a web interface. Main products are: a) Precipitation intensity (mm/h) at ground estimated according to a grid of 1x1 km resolution every 5-15 minutes. Higher spatial resolutions are possible for distance closer to the radar. b) Precipitation accumulation computed with different accumulation time (15 minutes to 1 day or more) c) Identification of hail bearing cells, and related hail probability d) Very short term forecasting (nowcasting) through tracking of intense precipitation and hail bearing cores. In agriculture, like in many other applications, the main source of data are the sparse raingauge networks: rainfall measurements from a single instrument of the network are collected at a network hub where, through interpolation techniques, precipitation data are provided onto the points of a given grid. Although reliable in the vicinity of a raingauge, uncertainty of rainfall estimates decreases as the distance from a raingauge increases. Instead, weather radar provides seamless products with a space resolution better than that achievable by standard dense raingauge networks, thus providing a more accurate spatial distribution of precipitation, allowing a precise estimation of places where precipitation is occurring Accurate identification and localization of hail are possible with dual polarization radar but not with raingauge. The cooperation type desired is a technical cooperation agreement. The researchers are searching new partners to involve in designing, customizing and testing of products through cost sharing.
Advantages and innovations
The radar developed is a microwave C-band dual polarization weather system. Such are large instrumentation, featuring steerable antennas with diameters larger than 4 meters, is capable of providing high resolution measurements related to cloud and precipitation properties. With respect to the standard single polarization technology, the dual-polarization technology allows for a more accurate estimation of precipitation and a more reliable classification of the type of precipitation, especially as far as identification hail bearing precipitation cells is concerned. The Doppler capability of radar allows to infer advection of precipitation from the measurement of the component of advection velocity towards the radar for a short term forecasting of precipitation. Techniques to obtain, from weather radar measurements, weather products useful for agriculture and transport safety (trains, airports, ports), are based on well consolidated and validated methods. Such products can be customized according to user needs.
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