SVI.I.C.T.PRECIP. – Sviluppo di piattaforma tecnologica integrata per il controllo e la trasmissione informatica di dati sui campi precipitativi in tempo reale

The objective of the SVI.I.C.T.PRECIP. project is the development of a system for the detection and monitoring of precipitation fields over the Tuscan regional territory based on the use of a widespread network of new-generation Eutelsat “SmartLNB” (smart low-noise block converter) domestic terminals. Though primarily intended for interactive satellite services, these devices can also be used as weather sensors, as they have the capability of measuring the rain-induced attenuation suffered by the downlink signal and relaying it on an auxiliary return channel. The system architecture consists of a network of ground sensor terminals, the space segment, and the service center, which has the task of processing the information relayed by the terminals for generating rain field maps. A number of methods for converting the rainfall attenuation measurements into estimates of instantaneous rainfall rate will be identified and experimented. In particular, a an exponential model has been introduced relating the specific rain attenuation to the rainfall rate, whose coefficients were obtained from extensive experimental data. Such model permits to infer the rainfall rate from the total signal attenuation provided by the SmartLNB and from knowledge of the link geometry. Results will be compared with output of conventional tipping bucket rain gauges and weather radar estimates.