16 September 2014

French Observers Group: outcomes of the annual meeting

by Rosa Vicari / École des Ponts ParisTech

On the 8th September the project French observers gathered together for the third consecutive year. About thirty participants attended the meeting, including delegates from CEPRI, Advancity and PLTS Seine and the Great Lakes.

The day started with a scientific seminar held by Massimiano Bucchi from the University of Trento (Italy), Masayuki Maki from the University of Kagoshima (Japan), and Dong-In Lee from the Pukyong National University (Korea).

How the development of Web technologies has affected science communication? Bucchi tried to answer this question by showing that the digital age – together with the decline of science journalism and science museums – have prompted research organizations to become influential opinion leaders for the general public. This new scenario raises questions on the quality of communication that are addressed by the research center OBSERVA in a recent study on quality indicators on public involvement in science and technology.

After a short overview of the history of the Hydrometeorological X-band radar in Japan - where the technology was used for the observation of rainfall since 1990 - Masayuki Maki illustrated how the reliability of X-band radars has been drastically improved with polarimetry. Maki then presented RainX, the Japanese network of 35 X-band radars, and TOMACS, a project to reduce damage due to extreme weather conditions in the metropolitan area Tokyo.

The morning ended with the intervention of Dong-In Lee who presented WISE: an eight-year project aimed to improve the information of meteorology service, to ensure decision support to reduce the impact of disasters, to provide information to the national political agenda and to develop a platform offering personalized services.

In the afternoon Marie-Claire ten Veldhuis (TU Delft) briefly illustrated the goals RainGain for the newcomers and Daniel Schertzer (ENPC) provided an update on the installation of the hydrometeorological X-band radar in the Cité Descartes campus: the last factory tests of the radar were completed and the construction of the supporting structure will start in October. After a general discussion on the implementation of the radar, the day ended with a visit of the C-band radar of Météo France in Trappes.

The presentations and the minutes of the meeting are available HERE.