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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

GM4W – GeoGuard Module for Water vapor monitoring

Monitoring the temporal and spatial variability of precipitable water vapour (PWV) at a local scale is important to improve the probabilistic nowcasting and forecasting of localized sudden storms and heavy rain, that can have spatial scales down to few kilometres. Local fluctuations of PWV, in fact, may be associated with increases of water vapour in the lower troposphere, which cause deep convection that may result in heavy rainfall. Before the initiation of convection, convergence of water vapour near the ground surface occurs. Previous studies reported that the local-scale amount of water vapour at a height of 1 km increases from about 30 minutes to 1 hour before the formation of rain drops because of the ground surface convergence process. This local-scale signal can be a precursor of rainfall, which would be useful to be assimilated into numerical weather prediction models, thus it is deemed important to detect it by high-resolution PWV measurements.

Developed by Geomatics Research & Development (GReD) srl

GM4W provides new technology for the reliable and continuous water vapour monitoring with high horizontal resolution. It is based on low-cost singlefrequency Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers, designed and developed by GReD through a collaboration with Proteco Consortium. They can also be used to detect the deformation and movements of the ground (e.g. landslides, subsidence) and critical infrastructure (e.g. dams, bridges, high voltage towers, etc) and are designed to be able to operate under all weather conditions.

TRL8. System incorporated in comercial design
System complete and qualified. Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and evaluation (DT&E) of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if it meets design specifications. We should actually consider two different TRLs: – the hardware (i.e. the monitoring units which will be deployed on the field) is at TRL 9, since the same GNSS units have been used by large clients of GReD for critical infrastructure (i.e. bridges, dams, high-voltage towers) and land (i.e. landslides) displacement monitoring for more than 1 year. – the overall water vapour monitoring system, which includes innovative (server-side) components such as the local ionospheric delay modelling and the continuous estimation of tropospheric delays, from which the integrated amount of precipitable water vapour can be inferred. This is more likely at TRL 6, since the technology has been demonstrated in relevant environment, namely by dedicated dense networks deployed for testing; however, it was not demonstrated in an actual operational environment, where water vapor data would have to be analysed for probabilistic nowcasting in order to issue timely early warnings.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

Business plan completed

The BRIGAID Business Development Programme has been successfully completed. A MAF+ assessment has been conducted and its results have been enriched and incorporated into a business plan document.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

Credits
Collaborators

How does it work?

GM4W uses low-cost single-frequency GNSS receivers (basically the same chipsets that are used within smartphones and car navigation systems) to retrieve Precipitable Water Vapour (PWV) after compensanting single-frequencies measurements for the ionosphere-induced delay estimated by local ionospheric models. These models, which are used with a dense network of low-cost receivers, can be estimated by a Precise Point Positioning adjustment of the observed pseudo-ranges between a receiver and all the satellite in view at a given epoch. GM4W technology consists of IP67-certified weather-proof monitoring units that are able to exploit low-cost GNSS data for the estimation of PWV.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

The deployment area has to be surrounded by existing networks of GNSS stations. This is the case for most developed countries, but it might be problematic in developing countries.

Added value
One of the most innovative aspects of the system is that it makes use of low-cost GNSS receivers and antennas. The cost of standard receivers and antennas inhibits the deployment of a high number of monitoring units; thus using low-cost hardware is an important enabler of the solution. Another characteristic is that each unit acts basically as a collector of raw data. The actual processing and water vapor retrieval is carried out server-side, thus it can be checked and overseen by specialized staff. We are thinking to use the same business model as that we are already using for the monitoring of displacements/deformations of critical infrastructure, i.e. to provide an end-to-end service. Also this aspect is quite innovative, in the sense that we are not just selling a sensor: we will actually provide a customized solution that covers the whole spectrum of the problem, from finding the deployment sites, to deploy the units, take care of data transmission and data processing, in order to deliver to the customer just what they need, namely water vapor time series and/or water vapor maps.

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