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Ericsson Weather Challenge

Find a solution for real-time high-resolution weather prediction in order to enable stakeholders throughout society to take appropriate actions.

Originally published for Hack for Impact @Norrsken House 2019

https://hackforimpact.norrskenimpactweek.org

Author

Louise Hultén & team
Strategy Execution
Ericsson ONE

Challenge

Precipitation is one of the most critical environmental variables for society, as the primary water source for the landscape, both rural and urban economies and their environments depend on it. Too much or too little precipitation can quickly have costly consequences, particularly in urban areas where high-intensity rainfall for a short period of time can lead to flash floods, with a high risk of damaging infrastructure, buildings, power plants, etcetera. Sometimes the sewer system capacity is surpassed, leading to release of untreated sewage into recipient waters and consequential peaks of environmental pollution downstream.

High-intensity rainfall is projected to become more frequent because of climate change. Due to these rainfall changes, a potential impact is increased flood damages. Rainfall is often very local, and the amount of rain falling often varies substantially in time and space. This means that high-resolution observations representing local conditions are needed to be able to trigger flood warnings and to predict and forecast future intense rains.

The challenge is to find a solution that helps people foresee high resolution weather forecasts short term in order to take appropriate actions. We believe that different stakeholders in societies and cities, can contribute to climate mitigation by adapting and becoming more recipient to weather with the use of information.

Resources that should be used for the challenge will be obtained through Ericsson’s Ericsson Weather Data project on rainfall monitoring: detailed rain intensity data. The data obtained through the Ericsson Weather Data solution is real time data collected every 10 seconds, where the attenuation of the signal in commercial telecom backhaul microwave networks is utilized to calculate rainfall intensities. Today, there is a nowcasting solution that presents data to SMHIs Microweather solution. However, it would be interesting to understand if such real time rain data can be used to develop a short term (15-30 minutes) rainfall forecasting solution. Other publicly available data set may also be used to create useful solutions for this challenge. The task will be to utilize resources, to enable cities, its citizens, decision makers or insight to other beneficiaries as well as create solutions for the Sustainability Development Goals.

Background

Ericsson is a provider of telecommunications infrastructure where innovation is an important aspect. Digitalization is vital to be able to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and together with our partners we contribute by deploying the basic infrastructures needed to enable innovations in a digitalized world. Ericsson is contributing to achieving a sustainable and fair world through Sustainability Development Goals number 9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Ericsson is involved in several projects aiming to monitor different environmental factors, such as rain and air pollution. Ericsson Weather Data (EWD), in partnership with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), is a solution utilizing existing telecommunications infrastructure to measure rainfall in real time. Microwave links serve as backhaul in mobile telecommunication systems, where they send and receive voice and data between nodes in the network. The technology uses radio waves in the microwave frequency range that are sensitive to the presence of particles, especially raindrops, which attenuate the signal. Thus, rainfall leads to disturbances of the microwave signals which can be used to detect and calculate the intensity of rainfall across the path of the link. Compared to existing technologies, such as radar and gauges, EWD has an increased time as well as spatial resolution at a much lower cost. Live real time rain intensity maps can be found here.

Goals

You solution can have wide-reaching applications in helping municipalities manage water resources, measure impact on sewage, and anticipate run-off and traffic disruption, as well as fighting malaria outbreaks, to name just a few examples.

End-users

  • Municipal authorities
  • Farmers

Agenda 2030

This challenge focuses on two of the Sustainability Development Goals:

  • Climate mitigation (no 13)
  • Development of sustainable cities (no 11)

Hashtags

# climatechange #SDG #ericssonONE

Future Plans

Your solution to this challenge can make a huge contribution to a more resilient society as weather starts changing and impacting us more. Ericsson will have a close look at all entries and support you in finding a way forward if interesting to both parties. Without any promise - it could be everything in between a stand-alone solution and an integration in our systems and processes.

Other

Ericsson will provide access to their cloud service for the participants of the hackathon.

SMHI APIs
SMHI open data

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