Friday, October 27, 2017

Counting Raindrops Using Mobile Phone Towers

Mobile Phone Towers

Rainfall – Cellular Telecommunication Networks

Observing rainfall utilising cellular telecommunication networks could offer immense opportunity in reducing loss of life as well as economic loss by improving flood early caution system. This is essentially important in the case of densely populated areas wherein the rainfall information seems to be vital in order to control water management. It is not clear about the precise number of people who died in a series of mudslide on August 14th that had taken place in and the surrounding area of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

The upper estimate was said to be over a thousand. It is said that the region that had been swept away had not be evacuated mainly since no one was aware how much rain had really fallen earlier, according to rainfall expert Modeste Kacou, at Felix Houphouet-Boigny University in Abidjan in the vicinity of Ivory Coast. Rain devices seem to be scarce in Sierra Leone and satellites tend to identify rainfall in the tropics though estimates for small regions tend to be often inaccurate.

To make matter worse, these numbers tend to be calculated much later after it takes place. Several countries therefore are inclined to utilise cloud-scanning ground radar for measuring precipitation when it takes place though Sierra Leone does not have such radar.

Ivory Coast – Lack Rainfall Radar/Maintenance Cost

Ivory Coast tends to have a double of the GDP per person of Sierra Leone. However like most of West Africa, it tends to lack rainfall radar and maintenance cost would mean that the number of weather stations all over the world has been dropping thus making it difficult to forecast flash floods together with landslides also in some of the rich countries.

Hence it would be useful if some other alternative means of measuring rainfall probably an economical one which has a tendency of employing the prevailing widespread equipment could be formulated. There is such a system which is said to involve mobile-phone networks.The simple understanding is that rain tends to weaken electromagnetic signals.

Several mobile-phone towers particularly those in remote locations utilise microwaves in order to connect with the other towers on the network. A dip in the power of these microwaves tends to expose the presence of rain. The modus operandi does not seem to be as accurate as rooftop rain gauges. However as Dr Kacou points out that as transmission towers seem to be more numerous they seem to report their data automatically and cost meteorologist anything.
Well-Timed/Precise Surface Rainfall Measurement
Well-timed and precise surface rainfall measurements seem to be crucial for water resources management, weather prediction, agriculture, climate research together with ground authentication of satellite-based rainfall evaluations. But most of the land surface of the earth tends to lack this type of data. In several areas of the world, the density of surface rainfall evaluating networks has been quickly decreasing. This progress could probably be stabilized on utilising received signal level data from the huge number of microwave connection used all over the world in commercial cellular communication networks. Together with these types of links, radio signals proliferates from a transmitting antenna at a base station to a receiving antenna at another base station. Rain persuaded reduction and consequently path-averaged rainfall intensity could be retrieved from the attenuation signal between transmitter and receiver. Here it is seen how one network could be utilised in retrieving the space-time dynamics of rainfall for the whole country.

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