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Monitoring system for precipitation events

3D tomographydecision support systemsEnvironmental MonitoringESTECHMonitoraggio ambientalenatural hazardspioggiarainrischi naturaliSupporto alle decisionitomografia 3D


The invention refers to environmental monitoring systems used to mitigate the effects of environmental disasters (floods, landslides, etc.) due to intense localized precipitation events. The proposed system estimates maps of precipitation intensity from the attenuation that a microwave signal emitted by a satellite undergoes while crossing the volume of the atmosphere where the event takes place.

Technical features

Current climate changes lead to an intensification of hydrogeological alert situations due to sudden and abundant rainfall in limited portions of the territory. An increasingly careful environmental monitoring of these phenomena is therefore necessary.

The system proposed involves to monitor the perturbations, via the deployment of an array of satellite antennas to be placed strategically across the territory, capable of receiving microwave signals from satellites placed in geostationary orbit in different positions in the sky. These will then  estimate, in real-time the average rainfall present on the paths that link the receiving antennas with those transmitting placed on the satellites. The estimate are carried out by evaluating the power of the signal received: it is in fact attenuated by the precipitation present in the portion of the atmosphere crossed by the signal.

The method considered is complementary to the three main methods of rain measurement in regular use (rain gauge, meteorological radar and meteorological satellite).

The purpose of the present invention is to improve the monitoring system mentioned through a 3D reconstruction of the precipitation, thus obtaining a precision and coverage never achieved before.

Possible Applications

  • Urban resilience;
  • Physical security of infrastructures;
  • Insurance services;
  • Hydraulic risk mitigation for construction sites.


  • Method that allows the calculation of rain maps with a limited number of antennas;
  • High spatial detail of the rain maps produced by the method;
  • Applicable method for continuous execution at high temporal frequency (e.g. one minute) to obtain real-time monitoring.