- Two Aachen-based companies have developed the basis for a new weather forecasting system that is fed with data from an X-band radar.
- In cooperation with the city of Aachen, other authorities and institutions, a lot of detailed information and data can be considered, which is necessary for a reasonably reliable diagnosis of the weather.
- The citizens can be better informed about how to protect themselves against flooding in the long term.
Climate change has become an omnipresent issue. Global warming and the possibility of greater storage capacity for moisture in the air are pushing infrastructure and general drainage capacities of cities to their limits. It was not until last year that Aachen experienced massive heavy rainfall events. The Aachen-based companies Gamic mbH and KISTERS AG have joined forces as part of a project and developed the basis for a new forecasting system that is fed with data from an X-band radar.
The city of Aachen supports the project with a lot of helpful and additional information. "We are confident that the new forecasting system will enable us to more accurately time out the danger spots in the city", said Elmar Wiezorek, Head of the Environment Department of the City of Aachen. With the system, warnings could be issued early enough. "We can educate the citizens in a more targeted way on how to protect themselves against flooding in the long term," said Wiezorek.
The Aachen-based companies KISTERS and Gamic have joined forces in the development of the new rain radar, bringing together their different business fields of weather forecasting and sensor technology. In cooperation with the city of Aachen, other authorities and institutions, a lot of detailed information and data can be considered, which is necessary for a reasonably reliable analysis of the weather.
With the help of the X-band radar, a prediction system is offered that can observe precipitation fields with a high spatial resolution of 25 by 25 meters. A forecast for the next three hours is thus possible. The radar is expected to be installed next spring on the roof of the new KISTERS building in Aachen, from where it will be able to observe precipitation within a radius of 80 kilometres.
The collected data is processed in real time for the individual urban and inner-city drainage areas via KISTERS’ technology platform HydroMaster (www.hydromaster.com). The infrastructure operators of the region can access the data. This enables them to make recommendations earlier than today in order to better protect the citizens and buildings from the effects of heavy rain or other weather conditions.
The Federal Ministry of Environment is supporting the project for two and a half years as part of the funding programme "Measures to adapt to the consequences of climate change". The funding amounts to about 40 percent of the development costs.
Professor Dr. Christiane Vaeßen, Managing Director of the Zweckverband Region Aachen, is pleased that regional companies have developed this forecasting system and are thus advancing the entire region in climate protection issues. She was optimistic that cross-border cooperation with neighbouring municipalities could also be possible in this area.