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Our team just finished a 10 months project for Waterschap Limburg (WL) contributing to INTERREG project EMfloodResilience. We used our expertise to evaluate how X-band radar technology could potentially improve rain information quality ingested in their flood monitoring system.

For this project we provided advices on X-band radar operation. We also performed qualitative assessments by evaluating rainfall insights observed from an X-band radar (located near Aachen, Germany) against the International Radar Composite – IRC -products of KNMI (based on C-band radar technology). Well maintained rain gauges in the vicinity were also used for reference and validation.

Our main outcomes:

  • Improved local rain extreme detection: Thanks to its higher resolution and sensitivity, the X-band radar is particularly interesting to improve the detection of extreme rainfall peaks present in local convective cells crossing the area, which are smoothed out by the IRC system.
  • Improved rainfall intensity for specific events: A better detection at higher resolution has a positive effect on rainfall intensity retrieved at street level, allowing better management of local flood monitoring.
  • Good complementarity of X-and C-band radars: The characteristics of C- and X- radar operations show high level of complementarity. C-band provides large scale coverage while X-band can be used for higher resolution, short coverage, monitoring in risk prone areas.¬†SkyEcho demonstrated such a complementarity by developing initial rainfall composites using rainfall data fusion techniques from IRC and X-band radar datasets.

Further works needs to be done to optimize rainfall data merging and address the impact of such new rainfall products on real-time water management operation. We wish to thank very much the waterboard Limburg for providing us such opportunity within their INTERREG project. We also thank KNMI, for their great feedback during the project.

Photo taken at the control room of the Watershap Limburg at the final project meeting.