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Researchers incorporate technology to detect and quantify intense rainfall in the Spanish satellite PAZ
Earth observation satellite PAZ will be launched the 17th February from the base of Vandenberg (California). Measurements will allow to determine several thermodynamic properties and of precipitation of the terrestrial atmosphere at different heights.

The PAZ satellite located in the test tank prior to its launch on February 17 to check its smooth functioning.

A team of researchers from the Institute of Space Sciences, formed by members of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), has designed and incorporated into the satellite Spanish for the observation of the Earth (PAZ) instrumentation to detect and quantify the precipitations of an intense character that are provoked in our atmosphere. Measures obtained should be used to deepen the knowledge of the atmospheric parameters that are necessary for the prediction of time.

The technology introduced allows the observation of radio-occultations that, for the first time, will be obtained in two polarizations. In this case the satellites of the GPS network will be used and will allow to determine the thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere, such as temperature, pressure and humidity at different heights in the atmosphere.

According to the words of Dr. Estel Cardellach, of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (ICE-CSIC), "the polarimetry will allow to test new concepts of measurement that had not been considered before. In particular, information on both polarizations will be used to carry out intense rainfall measurements. For the first time, an instrument with the ability to simultaneously measure the thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere, such as intense precipitation, would be available. "

"In the context of climate change, which envisages extreme phenomena, such as intense rainfall, which are difficult to predict largely due to the lack of data, our instrument can contribute to its resolution."

The technique of radio-ocultation

Occultations, and in particular radio-occultations, is a technique used for the observation of a medium, usually the atmosphere of a planet. Two elements are required, an emitter or source that sends electromagnetic waves and a receiver that can measure them.

"As the line of vision between the two elements is intercepted by the planetary atmosphere, the emitter's signal is weakened, distorted and flexed, so that its study can give us information about the environment it is going through, in this case, the Earth's atmosphere "points out Cardellach.

The transmitters are, in this case, the global position GPS satellites and the receiver is the instrument located in the low-altitude orbital PAZ satellite.

The PAZ project

The PAZ satellite, with radar technology, has the main task of addressing the security and defense needs. HISDESAT is the owner, operator and operator of the satellite, which will provide accurate information for various applications from its polar orbit around the Earth.

You can see an informative video about this experiment at:
Attached Documents
Generalitat de CatalunyaUniversitat de BarcelonaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaConsejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasCentres de Recerca de Catalunya