NWO OTP Award SMARTER: Strategic Monitoring of Atmospheric Threats using Enhanced Radar

TU Delft researchers dr. Francesco Fioranelli (ME-MS3) and dr. Marc Schleiss (CITG-GRS) receive NWO OTP funding for a four year research on strategic monitoring of atmospheric threats.
Atmospheric threats such as heavy rain and hail, are responsible for millions of damages in the Netherlands every year. Weather radars are essential tools to study the atmosphere, monitor threats, and issue early warnings for high impact events. The frequency of a radar and its configuration determine what type of weather phenomena can be measured, at which resolution and accuracy. To maximize coverage while simultaneously gathering lots of details about the small-scale structure and dynamics of local rain/hail events, different types of radars can be combined into larger networks. The crucial piece that is missing is a ‘central control unit’ for coordinating the efforts of each radar in the network.

In the project SMARTER Francesco and Marc with their teams will develop a new AI-based control unit for maximizing the collaboration between individual radars in a network and improve the detection/prediction of localized, rapidly developing atmospheric threats while keeping the large-scale overview of the situation. For a first proof of concept, the focus will be on detecting heavy rain and hail in the Greater Rotterdam area, which is of major interest for the horticultural industry and the Dutch economy in general. However, the novel adaptation and decision-making tool will be sufficiently general to be transferable to other networks outside the Netherlands and other targets such as insects, birds and aircrafts.

This project is executed in collaboration with the following partners: Glastuinbouw Nederland, Achmea Agro, KNMI, SkyEcho, Leonardo, RPG and HKV.

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