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The violence and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing. For this reason, improving the forecast accuracy is a fundamental goal to limit social and economic damages. In this scenario the STEAM project (SaTellite Earth observation for Atmospheric Modeling) aims to respond to a specific question asked by the European Space Agency (ESA): can be used satellite weather observation data to better understand and predict with at higher spatial-temporal resolution the atmospheric phenomena that can lead to extreme events?

To verify this, STEAM has identified the "WRF model" as the best existing model and will feed it also with other variables observed by satellites of the Sentinel constellation such as humidity, soil and sea temperature, wind on the sea, the amount of water vapour in the atmospheric band closest to the earth. All these data are not normally used in atmospheric forecasting models, but they are taken into account more for hydrological and marine modelling. Many experiments will be carried out on leading edge cloud computing facilities both for the analysis of high impact meteorological events and for the study of turbulence phenomena of the lower atmosphere and the spatial inhomogeneity of the water vapour fields. These phenomena influence also the electromagnetic propagation earth-satellite and in this subject ESA has a natural interest.

Institutes involved

CIMA Foundation, Savona, Italy
Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunications, Rome, Italy
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Milan, Italy
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Milan, Italy
Mario Boella Higher Institute, Turin, Italy
GRED, Milan, Italy
TRE ALTAMIRA, Milan, Italy


European Space Agency (ESA)


October 2017 - March 2019 (18 months)