Novimet, un radar pluviométrique léger et innovant


Super Célula
21 Mar 2007
Estremoz (401 metros)
Une jeune société, Novimet, propose un petit radar novateur capable de fournir des données pluviométriques locales très précises à usage de l'agriculture et de la protection civile. Pour cela, la société compte sur une rupture technologique mise au point par un laboratoire du CNRS.

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10 Mai 2009
Madeira - Funchal
Radar to measure rainfall
The young company has a small radar Novimet able to provide highly accurate local rainfall data for use in agriculture and civil protection.
A startup can it develop over the area of tools and services for weather forecasting, in the shadow of the giant Meteo France? This is the challenge Novimet, which relies on a technological breakthrough developed by a CNRS laboratory. The radars used by the meteorological offices to locate precipitation calculate their movement and determine its type (rain, snow, hail, etc..) Using frequencies of 3 or 5.6 GHz (referred to as S and C bands). Their antennae, 4 to 7 meters in diameter need to be protected from the elements by a dome, which cost triple the cost of the radar itself. In France, they number about twenty, and even combined with a network of 500 rain gauges, the mesh of the territory is too weak to provide highly accurate local rainfall data.
To obtain such data, we need a tighter mesh with smaller cameras. The problem is that this type of radar emits higher frequency, but with a very strong signal attenuation, because it is partially absorbed by the cloud. Developing an algorithm correcting attenuation allowed researchers Latmos (laboratory atmospheres, environments, space observations) of the CNRS to circumvent this limitation. In 2003, Jacques Testut, this laboratory physicist, took the leap and created the company Novimet to develop commercial applications of this innovation, convinced that a real market exists for more accurate data in time and space than is provided by the national operator.
From the algorithm, which it obtained the exclusive license from the CNRS, the company develops software that couple to a small radar (1.50 m diameter, 350 kg) X-band is ie transmitting at a frequency of 9.3 gigahertz. "We are thus able to measure the amount of rainfall over a radius of 60 km with an accuracy comparable to that offered by a network of 11,000 rain gauges, a device inconceivable reasons of cost, "explains Jacques Testut.
Map Resolution

With the European Programme Frame, piloted by Cemagref (Research Institute for Agricultural Engineering and the Environment), Novimet funded the construction of a first radar installed on Mount Vial north of Nice. It has been operational since 2008. Primary Purpose of this settlement: enabling better management of stormwater, particularly during storms, frequent in the Mediterranean region and on standby teams of civil protection. "We can provide firefighters a high resolution map ( 500 m) telling them where the rain fell and how much in the hour before, "says Jacques Testut.
Another application, this time for private use, Novimet provides SMS alert service teams to a company working to repair the storm drain in the city of Cannes, so they can evacuate quickly a storm.
But perhaps in the agricultural and environmental potential of the development of Novimet is greater. A better understanding of the amount of rain expected in the short term and will actually reduce the spreading of fertilizer and pesticides. Where savings for farmers and less pollution of groundwater. In the Aube, where Novimet is a partner of a project to improve agricultural practices supported by the Champagne-Ardennes and the FUI, the economy for farmers was worth nearly two million euros, corresponding to a decrease of 10% of revenue. This compares to an annual cost of installation and maintenance of radar from 200,000 to 300,000 euros.
The potential of this market, which is planned, has not escaped Meteo France, whose teams are working to develop their own correction algorithm, announced by six months. Then remain to develop and validate the software and then take a commercial approach. Novimet therefore has a small head start, which should enable him to prove himself and invest a portion of the market. The company, which employs ten people, expects a turnover of 1 million euros in 2010.

Traduzido pelo Google do Francês para Inglês

Creio que 2 radares destes na Madeira e 1 no Porto Santo seria a cobertura ideal para ultrapassar o problema da cordilheira montanhosa que constitui a Ilha.