Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Tommy van Leth

Date: 26 August 2019
Time: 16:00 - 17:30
Location: Aula, building 362, Gen. Foulkesweg 1, Wageningen

Dissertation title: 

Characterizing rainfall using microwave links

Group: Wageningen University, Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Promotors: R. Uijlenhoet
Copromotors: A. Overeem and H. Leijnse

Extra information:


Microwave links connect mobile telecommunication towers and are found anywhere there is cellphone coverage. The link signals attenuate due to rainfall, and this can be used to estimate a path-averaged rainfall rate.

To assess the performance of rain retrievals a field experiment consisting of collocated microwave links complemented with disdrometers along the link path was set up. The effect of snowfall, dew, fog and clutter were investigated as well as antenna wetting and variations correlated to temperature.

The spatio-temporal variability of rainfall fields at the sub-kilometer scale was determined using the disdrometers. Additionally, disdrometer data from Rotterdam and nationwide gauge data were used to extend the scale of the analysis.

Using multiple links with different frequencies or polarizations, the raindrop size distribution can be obtained. A retrieval algorithm was developed and its performance analyzed using attenuations derived from the disdrometer measurements and later tested using the link measurements.