RO-BERTA is a project for the effective design of anti-hail flight through optimal processing of weather data in real time
According to Georg Vogl, Managing Director of the Hail Research Association, the decisive factor in hail defense is to find the center of the hail storm as well as the upwind of a thunderstorm cloud and to start spreading silver iodide at the right time. If this is done too late, the hail that has already formed can no longer be prevented. Therefore, the hail defense aircraft is equipped with the HAIL (Hagel Abwehr in der Luft) device. Model-based, several hail measurements are combined and continuously visualized. This gives the pilot an X-ray view through the clouds into the hail center.
The primary goal is to support the pilot of the vaccination aircraft in the selection of his vaccination area by a visual representation of the ground radar data of the German Weather Service in the cockpit during the hail protection flight. A further goal is to establish a database for basic research on large-scale hail storms. The data collected over years will serve as a basis for the investigation of correlations between silver iodide vaccination and its effect on hail cells.
The challenge in this project is the bidirectional transmission of data in both directions, i.e. from the aircraft to the university and vice versa. Until now, the data is only available after the flight. The project should make it possible to provide the data already during the flight.
The pilot should thus receive the weather data in real time. The weather data will be displayed in animated form on a monitor in the cockpit and should make the pilot's work easier.
Position, attitude, GPS sensor and webcam data are provided by the aircraft. The transfer is to take place with the help of digital radio and W-LAN radio relay.
The RO-BERTA project continues: At the end of 2013, the Association for Research on the Effectiveness of Hail Control in the Rosenheim Area and the Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Rosenheim-Chiemsee eG decided to continue the successful joint project for another four years.
The aim is now to improve the preparation of data in the cockpit for the pilot as well as the data connection. Plans include a webcam in the cockpit to intensify the "live feeling" of hail observation, as well as a smartphone app to involve the public more closely. One technical focus is on recording and evaluating sensor data, which the researchers hope will help them to gain an even better understanding of weather events. (ovb-online, January 2014)