Funded by
EU

Development and field trial of a prototype of an autonomous and automate operating hail preventing sonic generator

Project Status: 3 Proposal review
Commencement Date: 05.03.2022
Duration in months: 0 months

Learn more about this Project

Participating Institutions

Partner

LEADING

ECOSERV Remote Observation Centre Co. Ltd.

Partner

COLLABORATOR

Ohio State University / Department of Electrical Engineering

Partner

COLLABORATOR

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche / Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara

Objective

Objective
The Project aim. Within the framework of this Project it is planned:
- To develop a prototype of spatio-temporally combined multi-frequency and dual-polarization radiometric complex;
- To perform spatio-temporally collocated, multi-frequency and dual-polarization measurements of clear sky, clouds and precipitation microwave emissions over a wide range of observation angles and meteorological conditions;
- To develop a new algorithm for cloud’s classification, hail prediction and detection by means of radiometric observation;
- To develop and to manufacture a prototype of hail detector-alerter;
- To develop and to build a prototype of an autonomous and automate operating hail preventing sonic generator (shock wave cannon); and
- To test and to carry out field trials of the developed prototype of autonomous and automate operating hail preventing sonic generator.
Current status. Every year hail and shower cause large and severe damage to agriculture, livestock farming and human properties. To avoid and to reduce material damage in size it is necessary to build reliable anti-hail protection network equipped by hail preventing facilities and by hail clouds detectors-classifiers. For hail preventing it is more reasonable and more preferable to use a shock wave generator, which is a cheaper and is an easy exploited one. At present, for hail detection powerful Weather Doppler Radar is used, operating at short centimeter or millimeter band of radio waves. The Weather Doppler radar is an expensive and power-hungry one and is very complicated in signals and spatial resolution forming and backscattered or reflected signals processing. Such radar may cost several hundred thousand or million USD in dependence of its power and other technical characteristics. The Weather Doppler Radar has other serious disadvantages too related with its dead zone, huge service facilities for its operation and exploitation, etc., and cannot solve the problem totally, since, cannot exactly define shooting time, i.e. the moment when it is necessary to begin or to interrupt the shooting of clouds or sky, which is a very significant parameter for hail prevention. Besides, in a case of an accidental breakage (failure, drop-out) of the radar the whole anti-hail protection area will remain without any protection. Therefore, a reason is appeared to develop an autonomous and and automate operating hail preventing sonic generator, which will be controlled (managed) by new kind hail detector-alerter, which will cost cheaper and will provide additional advantages regarding the Weather Radar.
The project’ influence on progress in this area. We suggest solve the problem using a method and means of microwave passive remote sensing. There is a reason in it, since cloud’s brightness temperature is a function of many parameters, in which air-particles temperatures, fraction type (vapor, water or ice) and particles size are the principal variables. The changes of clouds radio brightness temperatures, related with the changes of dielectric properties of particles and their temperatures, depend on frequencies and polarizations of observation. Therefore, by synergetic application of data of multi-frequency and multi-polarization microwave radiometric observations it is possible to detect and to recognize type of clouds, cloud’s water content and the stage of transformation of water vapor and drops of water to hail (to ice). Radiometric observation may not miss the stage of transformation of water vapor and drops of water to hail, because water and ice dielectric constants are very differ and such formations’ brightness temperatures will sufficiently vary one from another. So, radiometric observation is applicable for precise and high probable detection and classification of hail clouds, for real time scale recording of hailing time, for upcoming hail storm’s start time prediction and for remote control and automating an operation of various kinds hail-preventing facilities, such as hail preventing shock wave generator, for instance. Besides, radiometric hail detector-alerter will cost incomparably chipper, will be simple in exploitation and will allow realize autonomous and automate operating of hail preventing facilities.
The participants’ expertise. The proposed research project corresponds to the applied research and technology development category of researches and may be considered as a realizable task in all technical respects. It is partially based on the results of preliminary researches and works carried out in the framework of the ISTC Project A-872 and A-1524 by the members of the Research Team. These results were represented at various International Conferences and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and these Conferences’ Proceedings. It is based as well on new inventions in the field of a development of hail preventing systems, which are already patented by ECOSERV ROC Company. Multi-year experience of the Research Team members in development and manufacture of single and dual-frequency combined scatterometer-radiometer systems, available measuring equipment, in-situ control-test and calibration facilities of ECOSERV ROC will provide a successful implementation of the goals of the project related to a development of a unique technology (an autonomous and automate operating hail preventing shock wave generator and a network of wide-ranging anti-hail protection), methods and criteria for real time hail detection, hail prevention and anti-hail protection of agricultural fields and land. All corresponding information is available and may be found on the Internet web-site http://www.ecoservroc.com.
Expected results and their application. The main research results and achievements are expected to be:
- Database of spatio-temporally collocated measurements of sky, clouds and precipitation brightness (more exactly antenna or apparent) temperatures at four frequencies and cross polarizations.
- A method development for clouds classification, hail prediction and detection.
- A prototype development of a hail detector-alerter for controlling of hail preventing systems and facilities for their autonomous and automate operation.
- A unique and innovative technology as an autonomous and automate operating hail preventing shock wave generator.
The results of these investigations will have significant economical and social impact, particularly in agriculture, livestock farming and food industry, to preserve quantity and quality of harvest and livestock population, irrigation, water resource management, environment’s preservation, protection and sustainable monitoring, weather and precipitation forecasting by chipper price. Commercial value of anticipated results is high and is evident. It connects with current requirements to have a simple, inexpensive, but reliable and good operating hail preventing system.
Meeting the ISTC goals and objectives. The project implementation will provide an opportunity for 8 former USSR weapon scientists and engineers (earlier engaged in development of methods and radio systems for target navigation and tracking, target detection and identification) to redirect their knowledge and skills to peaceful activities particularly in a field of environmental protection. It will promote integration of scientists from Armenia into the international scientific community, particularly the USA, Canada, EU and Japan. It will contribute to the solution of national and international technical problems applied to anti-hail protection and hail prevention, the environmental security and protection, hydrology and food program (agriculture, livestock farming and irrigation), global weather forecasting industry.
Scope of activities. For achievement of the Project objectives the following activities will be implemented under the Project, namely:
- Design, development and manufacture of C-, X-, Ku-, and Ka-band, spatio-temporally combined, multi-frequency and multi-polarization (cross-polarization) radiometric system;
- Carrying out a series of spatio-temporally collocated, multi-frequency (at least four-frequencies) and multi-polarization (at two cross polarizations for each frequency) passive measurements of clear (open) sky, clouds and precipitation microwave emissions over a wide range of observation angles, seasonal and meteorological conditions;
- Definition of a frequency band more preferable for hail detection and prediction and more applicable for commercialization.
- Design, development and manufacture of a prototype of hail detector-alerter and it testing and trial in field conditions during field campaigns.
- Design, development and building (manufacture) of autonomous and automate operating hail preventing shock wave generator and its testing and seasonal exploitation for hail prevention in real time scale;
Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners. For this research project implementation Armenian and Foreign research teams’ collaboration is essential. There are some reasons for that:
- Difficulties in development and manufacturing of a unique technology as a spatio-temporally combined multi-frequency and dual-polarization radiometric system.
- Difficulties of experimental tasks solution related to microwave sensor’s field trials and calibration, clear sky, clouds, precipitation and other atmospheric formations microwave emissive and physical characteristics measurements and retrieval.
- Large capacity of supposed remote and in-situ measurements, data processing and analysis.
- New models, methods and algorithms development necessity.
- Methodological and technical complexities of measurements and experimental data processing.
Three Collaborators from the EU (2) and the USA, namely: the Institute of Applied Physics (IFAC-CNR), Italy, the Department of Agri-food Production and Environmental Sciences of the University of Florence (UNIFI) and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Ohio State University (OSU) have currently expressed their agreement in collaboration and their interest in the Project fulfillment and in expected results.
Technical approach and methodology. For these experiments an experimental site with its measuring platforms (stationary and mobile), scanners, calibration facilities and a small, local weather station will be used, which were developed, manufactured and built by ECOSERV ROC under the framework of the ISTC Projects A-872 and A-1524. Four-frequency and cross-polarization microwave passive measurements of sky emission will be carried out under various elevation and azimuth angles of observation, seasonal and meteorological conditions, wind, snowfall,, rainfall, fog and hail conditions. A complete set of ground truth data, including wind speed and direction, atmospheric visibility, rainfall and snowfall parameters will also be collocated. It is planned as well to develop prototypes of hail detector-alerter and autonomous and automate operating hail preventing shock wave generator, to test developed prototypes in field conditions during field campaigns.