EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H SAF)



Period: 2012–2017
Partners: EUMETSAT, Servizio Meteorologico Aeronautica Militare, Protezione Civile, Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Finnish Meteorological Institute, TELESPAZIO, Országos Meteorológiai Szolgálat, Météo-France, National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Slovenský hydrometeorologický ústav, TuWien, German Federal Institute of Hydrology, Anadolu University, Università di Ferrara, Istanbul Technical University, Middle East Technical University, Ondokuz Mayis University.

Description: The H SAF generates and archives high-quality data sets and products for operational hydrological applications starting from the acquisition and processing of data from Earth observation satellites in geostationary and polar orbits operated both by EUMETSAT and other satellite organization. The retrieval of products uses data from microwave and infrared instruments and aims at reaching the best possible accuracy compatible with satellite systems as available today or in the near future. H SAF applications fit with the objectives of other European and international programmes (including GMES) with special relevance to those initiatives which want to mitigate hazards and natural disasters such as flash floods, forest fires, landslides and drought conditions, and improve water management. H SAF objectives are:

  1. to provide new satellite-derived products from existing and future satellites with sufficient time and space resolution to satisfy the needs of operational hydrology, by mean of the following identified products:
    • precipitation (liquid, solid, rate, accumulated);
    • soil moisture (at large-scale, at local-scale, at surface, in the roots region);
    • snow parameters (detection, cover, melting conditions, water equivalent);
  2. to perform independent validation of the usefulness of the new products for fighting against floods, landslides, avalanches, and evaluating water resources; the activity includes:
    • downscaling/upscaling modelling from observed/predicted fields to basin level;
    • fusion of satellite-derived measurements with data from radar and raingauge networks;
    • assimilation of satellite-derived products in hydrological models;
    • assessment of the impact of the new satellite-derived products on hydrological applications.


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