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Smart Rainfall System

The climate change is affecting the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and the hydrogeological risk is increasing also because larger numbers of people and their assets are being exposed. Past trends can no longer be used to predict future extreme weather patterns. SRS answers to the need of enhancing the efficiency and prediction capabilities of flood warning systems, groundwater pollutions alert procedures and transport/energy infrastructures safety.

Developed by Artys

The ARTYS Smart Rainfall System (SRS) is an innovative rainfall and flood risk monitoring system. The rainfall maps are provided in real-time with an high spatial resolution taking advantage of ICT technologies and a network of low-cost rainfall sensors deployed in the monitored territory. The rainfall now-casting system allows a short-term prediction of the flood scenarios thanks to a dedicated runoff model and the web-GIS platform displays risk maps with a one-minute refreshing time.

TRL5. Laboratory testing of integrated system
Technology validated in relevant environment. Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so they can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include “high-fidelity” laboratory integration of components. Different realizations of the SRS system are currently functional in operational environments with precipitation monitoring purposes (mainly in the City of Genoa and the Golfo Paradiso municipalities in Italy). This notwithstanding, the indicated TRL is #5 since the evaluation of the surface runoff and flood alert functions still have to be demonstrated in relevant or operational environment.

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?

Smart Rainfall System is a patented environmental monitoring system (IT granted, n. 0001412786; EU pending, n. EP2688223) that measures the rainfall intensity by means of the analysis of satellite television’s signals received by commercial parabolic antennas and estimates the runoff potential by means of a continuous hydrological model. Since the satellite signal is attenuated by the atmospheric precipitation, SRS uses an electromagnetic model to retrieve oneminute rain intensity observation for each sensor deployed in the monitored area. The central elaboration server parses the measurements from the sensors network, and performs real-time visualization of the rain and flood risk maps basing on a web-GIS platform.

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

At this stage of development, the SRS network of sensors require the availability of a telecommunication infrastructure (GPRS or local access points) in the monitored area. We are about to test the implementation of a wireless mesh network in order to provide connectivity in territories not covered by the GPRS signal. The calibration/validation of the runoff model requires historical rainfall, runoff and temperature datasets available for the monitored catchment. In absence of such information, an initial period of operation (not less than 6 months) must be dedicated to the calibration of the runoff alert system. SRS is currently validated to produce rainfall maps, the application of the SRS technology to measure solid precipitation requires modification and testing of the antennas set-up (scheduled for 2018) and different satellite links.

Added value
The added value is represented by the exploitation of existing telecommunications infrastructures, ICT-based technologies (cost efficient and easy to install/maintain sensors) and the preservation of low cost of both installation and maintenance at a low cost for the provision of rainfall and flood risk maps in real-time with high spatial resolution. The added value of SRS is the “timely and exhaustive knowledge of the whole context” on risks actually affecting the safety of people and assets. Customers only have to take the right decision, based on evidences. SRS will be an international credible and authoritative source of information and knowledge on extreme weather events, to be sold as a brand new tool supporting customers, (e.g. Civil Protection and assurance companies) in forecasting and better managing the immediate consequences of intense rainfall, early-warning people and better coordinating with first responders. Besides, the low-cost multiannual service subscription is an absolute market added value, able to open a brand new opportunity in the now-casting field. SRS (and its interoperability with the currently used instruments, in input – weather-radars, rain gauges etc. – and in output – hydrologic models, risk maps etc.) will enable a new paradigm for emergency management, timely intervention processes aiming to save lives and to ensure the continuity of basic functions and services, also integrating and addressing human and social dynamics in crisis and disaster situations, including the role of the population, the media, and rescuers.

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