EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Opportunistic sensing of precipitation using commercial microwave links: opportunities and challenges

Remko Uijlenhoet
Remko Uijlenhoet
  • Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Water Management, Delft, Netherlands (

Microwave links from cellular communication networks have been proposed as an opportunistic source of precipitation data more than two decades ago. The first scientific studies demonstrating the potential of this ground-based remote sensing technique, in particular for areas around the world were dedicated rainfall observation networks are sparse, were published some 15 years ago. Since then, a small but dedicated community of scientists and engineers working at universities, national meteorological services, consulting companies, mobile network operators and telecommunication equipment manufacturers has been making significant progress in turning this promise into a reality. In the meantime, numerous papers and reports have been published, conference presentations have been given and courses have been delivered. However, real-time access to high-resolution rainfall information from commercial microwave link networks over large continental areas is still a dream. How far have we come after 20 years of research and development? What does the future have in stall for the hydrological and meteorological communities? What should be done to turn this dream into a reality? This presentation will attempt to provide some preliminary answers to these questions.

How to cite: Uijlenhoet, R.: Opportunistic sensing of precipitation using commercial microwave links: opportunities and challenges, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15358,, 2023.