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The objective of VOLTAIRE, a project of the European Commission Fifth Framework Programme, is the validation of multi-sensor precipitation fields in Mediterranean mountainous regions.

Project start01.01.2002
Project end31.12.2006
StatusCompleted projects
  • Research & cooperation
  • Measurement & forecasting systems
  • Climate


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Swiss federal authoritiesSwiss federal authorities

Overall goal

  • The analysis of observations from satellite radar TRMM over Europe (Cyprus)
  • The comparison of rainfall measurements by ground radar and raingauges
  • The comparison of rainfall forecasts by numerical weather prediction models
  • The preparation for the European participation in GPM mission (Global Precipitation Measurement from satellite)


  • to compare data quality insurance schemes for ground and space radar
  • to use precipitation fields from ground radar and gauge network as ground validation for satellite radar TRMM (over Cyprus)
  • to gain experience for and prepare the European participation in GPM
  • to improve the accuracy of precipitation fields from ground radar in Mediterranean test sites using gauge measurements and adjustment techniques adapted to mountainous regions
  • to compare precipitation fields from numerical weather prediction models with observations from ground and satellite radar
  • to improve accuracy of preciptation fields from ground radar taking into account the intrinsic high variability of precipitation and the error sources in a mountainous region (clutter elimination, correction for visibility, correction for vertical profile of reflectivity, adjustment by gauge measurements)

Work packages

WP Task Lead
WP1 Database building, standardization and management Politecnico di Torino
WP2 Data quality control of time variable data einfalt&hydrotec GbR, Lübeck
WP3 Radar adjusted rain fields in Cyprus and comparison with TRMM data Meteorological Service Cyprus, Larnaca
WP4 Improved radar-gauge adjusted rain fields based on TRMM validation program University of Maryland Baltimore County/JCET NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
WP5 Structural characterization of precipitation fields MeteoSwiss, Locarno-Monti
WP6 Optimised/adjusted rain fields in complex-orography regions Politecnico di Torino
WP7 Numerically modeled rain fields and comparison with observations Dipartimento dei Servizi Tecnici Nazionali, Rome
WP8 Preparation of a validation supersite for GPM mission in western Mediterranean Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona
WP9 Dissemination University of Ljubljana
WP10 Project management Politecnico di Torino