21 Jun 2024
 | 21 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Enhanced Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (QPE) through the opportunistic use of Ku TV-sat links via a Dual-Channel Procedure

Louise Gelbart, Laurent Barthès, François Mercier-Tigrine, Aymeric Chazottes, and Cecile Mallet

Abstract. Earth – satellite microwave links such as TV-SAT can help for rainfall monitoring and could be a complement or an alternative to ground-based weather radars, rain gauges or satellites dedicated to Earth observation. Rain induced attenuation which is harmful for telecommunication is exploited here as an opportunistic way to estimate rain rate along the path link. This technique makes it possible to obtain rain measurements at a fine temporal resolution (a few tens of seconds) and with a spatial resolution of few kilometers, which is a good compromise for human activities such as civil security (watershed monitoring, flash flood), agriculture or transport. Among the advantages of this technique, one can note the low cost of the hardware used (which can be commercial) as well as that of its maintenance on site. However, measured attenuation does not directly provide rain intensity and some parameters have to be estimated. Among these, it is necessary to take into account the contribution of the natural radiation of the atmosphere. In this paper, we detail a theoretical framework allowing to estimate rainfall from the measurements of a low-cost sensor operating simultaneously over two parts of the Ku-frenquency band. Then this framework is assessed in a densely instrumented area in south of France, where it is shown that very good results are obtained when compared to rain gauges measurements, both in terms of overall rain accumulation and in terms of rainfall rate distribution. Then we apply this dual channel method in Ivory Coast, in the metropolitan area of Abidjan, where such an approach is very promising. It is shown that this technique when compared to rain gauge measurements give results far better than a single-channel naive approach neglecting natural radiation of atmosphere, but that there are still significant errors in the rain assessment, leading to a persistent underestimation of rain accumulation. Finally we discuss various effects that could lead to this remaining underestimation, opening the door to further studies.

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Louise Gelbart, Laurent Barthès, François Mercier-Tigrine, Aymeric Chazottes, and Cecile Mallet

Status: open (until 16 Aug 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2024-88', Marielle Gosset, 15 Jul 2024 reply
Louise Gelbart, Laurent Barthès, François Mercier-Tigrine, Aymeric Chazottes, and Cecile Mallet
Louise Gelbart, Laurent Barthès, François Mercier-Tigrine, Aymeric Chazottes, and Cecile Mallet


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Short summary
In this paper, we present and evaluate a new method for the quantitative estimation of precipitation from a low-cost sensor. Based on previous work measuring the attenuation of an electromagnetic signal from a broadcast television satellite, we make this approach more accurate so that to be easily deployed and used operationally in areas where rainfall measurements are critical for applications like flood monitoring. In this article, the method is validated in France and applied in Ivory Coast.