Feeds

Weather forecast: WiFi storms make meteorologists look mad

Boffins are finding ways to stop WiFi messing with weather stations

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A problem in a world of global WiFi equipment is that global spectrum allocations aren't consistent, and in some places, kit clashes with applications like weather radar. A group of Austrian researchers is looking at how to clean up radar images spoiled by nearby WiFi kit.

In a paper published on the Arxiv pre-print server, the scientists note that it's not just 5 GHz WiFi that causes artefacts on images: air traffic control radars and topology also cause problems for weather radar.

Led by Harald Ganster of Joanneum Research in Austria, the research found that a third of images from one weather station in the mountainous country suffered wireless LAN interference, with disturbance like that shown below present in “2713 from 8928 images”.

“Improvement of WXR [weather radar – El Reg] images - by combining them with other sensors in order to complete concealed zones and eliminate interfering signals without losing important meteorological information - is essential for an accurate prediction of weather phenomenons and atmospheric conditions”, they write.

Wifi interference on weather radar

WiFi interference on Austrian weather radar

The algorithm developed by Ganster's group is designed to identify such artefacts in the radar images so they can be removed. Geometry is helpful here: something like WiFi, whose interference appears as a straight line, can be classified, turned into a vertical line, and removed, as can the speckle coming from air traffic radars.

The other aspect of the work is to fill in shadows in the radar. They do this by taking long-term data from meteorological satellite images, and stitching that data – which they refer to as “meteorologically reasonable” – back into the real-time radar data.

The aim of that part of the work is to provide a model that can reasonably serve as a proxy for the real-time data.

The 'RottNest Monster'

It still doesn't provide an explanation, however, for artefacts like Australia's “Rottnest Monster”, which set the country afire with speculation in February.

That ended up being attributed to a defence training exercise. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.