Conventional devices used to measure precipitation (e.g. rainfall, snow, dew, fog) are rain gauges (RGs), weather radars, precipitation satellites and disdrometers. Each of these devices has its strengths and weaknesses.
A new technique is the use of the data from Commercial Microwave Links (CMLs) interconnecting base stations (BSs) in Mobile Cellular Networks to measure precipitation. This technic is referred to as CML as Path-Averaged RGs (CMLasPARG). This technique can be surrogate or complementary to conventional precipitation measuring devices.
The technique is rooted in the attenuation of wireless signals by
raindrops, especially at millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies.
CMLs have the potential for measuring spatio-temporal rainfall
more accurately and cheaper than traditional rain gauges, and
emerging satellite and radar technologies.
The utility in this emerging technology is further enhanced by its link to the two popular technologies of Big Data and Internet-of-Things (IoT).
Using CMLs as rainfall sensors solidifies the IoT citizenship
of mobile cellular networks.
The use of CMLs is viewed as
an opportunistic business case in precipitation modelling and
prediction that Telcos, telecommunication practitioners, meteorologists
and geoscientists are yet to exploit on a massive scale.
Fifth-generation (5G) and Beyond 5G (B5G) mobile networks expected to use
mmWaves will be more suitable for measuring precipitation
than their predecessors. The high absorption rates of mmWaves
by rainfall and the former’s short propagation distance are
both good features for mapping rainfall.