Innovative “heavyRAIN” protects against heavy rainfall


hydro & meteo GmbH is cooperating with Stadtwerke Lübeck, the Hanseatic City of Lübeck and Lübeck Technical University in the “heavyRAIN” project to counter the effects of heavy rainfall events. A crucial aspect is the creation of an effective early warning system that enables rapid and precise advance warning. This interdisciplinary collaboration shows how innovation and expertise come together to strengthen protection against heavy rain and the safety of people.

Early warning system optimized by technology

As part of the mFUND innovation initiative, the “heavyRAIN” research project is being financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) from September 2022 to August 2025. Within three years, own precipitation measurements will be carried out in Lübeck and three other German cities. These measurements will be analyzed together with other weather data to improve the forecasting methodology. The project aims to enable more accurate weather forecasts for the future.

Future technology: focus on smart innovations

The promising project, initiated and implemented by Okeanos Smart Data Solutions GmbH, hydro & meteo GmbH, Bochumer Institut für Technologie gGmbH and the NRW State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection, focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT). Close cooperation with various cities and organizations as field study sites will create a broad data basis for findings. The application of smart technology in Lübeck’s street lighting by hydro & meteo GmbH is a central aspect here.

Modern street lighting with weather sensors

The implementation of a smart city in Lübeck is being driven forward by the installation of 50 new IoT precipitation sensors on street lamps. These sensors use infrared light to measure rainfall in real time. The collected data is transmitted via the LoRaWAN network of the Lübeck public utility company and is accessible to citizens via the “Lübeck Smart City Region” Internet portal. Advanced forecasting algorithms can be used to make precise predictions about the precipitation situation to better prepare the city for weather events.

Implementation and research of technological innovations

Marius Kämmel, a student of environmental engineering and management at the TH Lübeck, is passionately involved in the “heavyRAIN” project. As a research assistant, he actively contributed to testing the sensors in the Environmental Process Engineering Laboratory and is now installing them in all of Lübeck’s neighborhoods together with his colleagues. Marius finds great joy in the practical work and is proud to see the sensors now ready for use in their final environment.

Climate impact adaptation: heavyRAIN protects population

“heavyRAIN” exemplifies how the combination of modern technology and innovative collaboration can increase safety from heavy rain events. The use of IoT precipitation sensors and advanced forecasting algorithms enables timely and accurate warnings of heavy rain, allowing citizens to take protective measures in a timely manner. At the same time, emergency services can act proactively and minimize potential damage. The project thus makes a valuable contribution to meeting the challenges of climate impact adaptation and protecting the population.

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