Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Device for measuring rainfall energy

Hydrogeological instabilityPluviograph - piezoelectricsPluviographic networkRainfall energyRainfall measurement


The present invention relates to a device and a method for measuring the rainfall impact energy at the ground. The device lends itself to an application diffused to entire regional areas and, therefore, allows to improve the prediction of hydrogeological instability processes, i.e. water soil erosion and rainfall-induced landslides, which are affected by rainfall impact energy.

Technical features

The device (TRL= 2) is applicable to a traditional pluviograph and consists of a collar (diameter 0.4 mm) on which piezoelectric sensors are housed. The latter transform the pulse resulting from the impact of each drop onto the sensor into an electric signal. The method for measuring the rainfall energy requires only recording of three variables within a time window of assigned amplitude: the rainfall intensity, measured by the pluviograph, the number of pulses and the average of signal intensity, measured by the piezoelectric sensors. The signal from the sensors and pluviograph is acquired and recorded by a datalogger.

Possible Applications

  • Upgrade of the national pluviographic network;
  • Prediction and monitoring of hydrogeological instability processes;
  • Early warning systems for rainfall-induced landslides.


  • Ease of the measurement method;
  • Cheapness of the device;
  • Possibility of implementing the sensors on the existing national network of pluviographs;
  • Integrability into the production and marketing processes of pluviographs;
  • Application diffused to entire regional areas.