The quantification of precipitation’s temporal-spatial distribution is a key element in climate impact analyses. Energy economy in terms of hydroelectric power facility control also requires information about the distribution of precipitation as accurately as possible. Despite of advancements in the fields of in-situ and radar measurement, the uncertainty of the temporal-spatial precipitation coverage still is on of the largest source of error when monitoring and modeling the water balance. The new method presented in the framework of this project suggests covering the determination of precipitation via the attenuation of commercial microwave links resulting from the beam’s interaction with raindrops. An existing network of more than 100.000 microwave links in Germany can be utilized and provides the potential of reducing the uncertainty. Since 2010 this new technique is successfully tested at KIT Campus Alpin in the framework of a pilot project with several selected microwave links.
The final goal of the project is to further develop and establish the method for area-wide analyses in Germany. Compared to the pilot project a massively increased number of links have to be processed. New automatic algorithms for data processing and error correction have to be developed and prepared for operational usage. The spatial precipitation information generated by interpolation and further geo-statistic combinations with in-situ and radar measurements serve as the basis for hydrologic model operation, for hydroelectric power facility control and for analysis of flooding and low water situations.
Funding: Stiftung Energieforschung Baden-Württemberg